NOAA warns 2024 Atlantic hurricane season could be ‘extraordinary’ with 25 named storms


The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be ‘extraordinary’ as officials have estimated there could be up to 25 named storms

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) held a live briefing Thursday to discuss the preseason outlook, noting there is an 85 percent chance of an above-normal season that starts June 1 and concludes November 30.

NOAA forecasted that up to  13 of the named storms could d become hurricanes and up to seven may have wind speeds of 111 miles per hour – an average season sees 14 named storms with seven leading to hurricanes and three major ones.

The predictions are based on the development of La Niña, a weather system that occurs when equatorial trade winds strengthen and causes ocean currents to change, and much warmer than usual in the main hurricane development region.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be 'extraordinary' as officials have estimated there could be up to 13 tropical cyclones

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be ‘extraordinary’ as officials have estimated there could be up to 13 tropical cyclones

‘The forecast … is the highest NOAA has ever issued for the May outlook,’ NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said during the news conference.

‘This season is looking to be an extraordinary one in a number of ways.’

The updated 2024 outlook has a 70 percent probability, which includes 17 to 25 names storms, eight to 13 hurricanes and four to seven major hurricanes.

The previous record was in 2010 when NOAA’s outlook showed 14 to 23 named storms that led to 12 hurricanes.

NOAA scientists predicted a quick transition to La Niña in the coming months, which typically reduces high-altitude winds that can reduce high winds that would otherwise weaken hurricanes.

The weather pattern means more instability in the atmosphere that can fuel tropical cyclone development.

The 2005 hurricane season was record-breaking with 15 events, but NOAA's data has shown that the main development region is much warmer this year than it was 19 years ago

The 2005 hurricane season was record-breaking with 15 events, but NOAA’s data has shown that the main development region is much warmer this year than it was 19 years ago

NOAA forecasted that up to 13 of the named storms could d become hurricanes and up to seven may have wind speeds of 111 miles per hour – an average season sees 14 named storms with seven leading to hurricanes and three major one

The other ingredient for this perfect storm is that ocean waters have been record warm for 13 months in a row, which also provides hurricanes with power.

Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said: ‘Hurricanes live off of warm ocean water.

‘That tends to basically be fuel for the hurricane. But also when you have the warm Atlantic what that tends to do is also force more air up over the Atlantic, more rising motion, which helps support strong thunderstorms.

The 2005 hurricane season was record-breaking with 15 events, but NOAA’s data has shown that the main development region is much warmer this year than it was 19 years ago.

Brian McNoldy, tropical meteorology researcher from the University of Miami said: ‘We’ve never had a La Niña combined with ocean temperatures this warm in recorded history so that’s a little ominous.’

McNoldy also shared that we could see storms earlier than normal due to the combination – hurricane season typically peaks from mid-August to mid-October. 

Record hot water seems to be key, McNoldy said. 

‘Things really went of the rails last spring (2023) and they haven’t gotten back to the rails since then,’ he said.

However, NOAA noted that it cannot know exactly when and where storms are likely to hit. 

 

 



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