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2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season Projected to Be “Explosive”

explosive hurricane season
Credit: NOAA/Canva

Projections for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season were just released, and this year’s season is forecast to be “unprecedented” and “explosive” as sea surface temperatures rise, creating the potential for an increased number of storms, as well as increased intensity.

hurricane lee

Credit: National Weather Service

An “Explosive” Hurricane Season Ahead

The upcoming hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs through November 30, but information released by AccuWeather meteorologists on Wednesday warns of the increased potential for tropical storms–those that gather energy from warm sea surface temperatures instead of from a front–forming earlier than usual in 2024.

According to AccuWeather forecasters, the 2024 hurricane season could hit “a record-setting pace,” with increased hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin, as many as 25 named storms–including tropical storms with sustained winds of at least 39 miles per hour–during the summer and fall months. That number would destroy the historical average number of storms in one hurricane season, which currently sits at 14 storms.

Tropical storm arlene

Credit: National Hurricane Center

The forecast released on Wednesday also called for between eight and 12 of those named storms to gather enough strength to become hurricanes, with sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour, and four to seven of them intensifying to Category 3 or higher major hurricanes with at least 111 miles per hour.

Each year, the names of potential storms are listed in alphabetical order. For the 2024 season, storm names include Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Francine, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Milton, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie, and William.

AccuWeather meteorologists say that between four and six of the 2024 storms could have a direct impact on the United States.

Comparing 2024 to 2023

In 2023, the Atlantic hurricane season included 20 named storms, seven of which strengthened into hurricanes. During last year’s season, Hurricane Idalia was the only storm that made landfall in the U.S. On August 30, Idalia made landfall in the Big Bend region of Florida as a Category 3 storm, arriving with 125 mph winds.

hurricane idalia on radar 2023

Credit: National Weather Service

What’s Behind the Uptick in Storms and Severity?

According to AccuWeather forecaster Alex DaSilva, the increase in hurricane and tropical storm activity that’s projected for 2024 is due to several factors, including warm water temperatures on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, especially in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and across the tropics in the Atlantic Basin.
areas of activity in the atlantic basin

Credit: AccuWeather

All of these bodies of water are known as places where hurricanes typically form.
Higher temperatures could also contribute to the rapid intensification of storms during the Atlantic hurricane season. During this phenomenon, storms undergo a sudden increase in wind speeds over 30 knots in just 24 hours. Such was the case with Hurricane Idalia in 2023, a Category 4 storm, and Hurricane Lee, a Category 5 storm.
As this forecast was just released today, more information will be shared as it becomes available.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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