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2024 hurricane and tropical storm forecast: NOAA predictions for this season

National Weather Service forecasters are predicting above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year as the season gets underway this weekend.

National Weather Service forecasters are predicting above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year as the season gets underway this weekend.

According to the latest reports from the NOAA National Weather Service forecasters, this year’s Atlantic hurricane season is set to see more activity than usual. Last year, there were 20 named storms in the region (the pre-season prediction was 13 and the average is 14) but this year, the Climate Prediction Center is predicting an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season and a 5% chance of a below-normal one.

Above average sea surface temperatures in 2024

That means that we could see up to 25 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher) wreaking havoc in and around the North Atlantic Ocean. Out of those, eight to 13 are could develop into hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or stronger), four to seven may be classed as major hurricanes (categories 3, 4 or 5 with winds in excess of 111 mph). Forecasters believe that the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season will be busier than normal for a number of factors such as near-record warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean - surface temperatures are now already at average levels for August and warm water, along with air stability, means hurricanes.

2024 Atlantic hurricane season names

  • Alberto
  • Beryl
  • Chris
  • Debby
  • Ernesto
  • Francine
  • Gordon
  • Helene
  • Isaac
  • Joyce 
  • Kirk 
  • Leslie
  • Milton
  • Nadine
  • Oscar
  • Patty
  • Rafael
  • Sara
  • Tony
  • Valerie
  • William

Added to that, are the conditions brewing in the Pacific for La Niña (when surface water temperatures over a large area of the Pacific drop by at least 0.5 degrees Celsius below the historical average for three months or more), reduced Atlantic trade winds and less wind shear - all of which are underlying factors involved in tropical storm formation. In March, the average global sea surface temperature (SST) was recorded at 69.93 degrees F - the warmest on record.

When is the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season?

The NOAA add that the 2024 hurricane season also has the potential for an above-normal west African monsoon. That produces African easterly waves that germinate some of the strongest and longer-lived Atlantic storms. Also, light trade winds allow hurricanes to grow in strength without the disruption of strong wind shear, and also minimize ocean cooling.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season begins on Saturday 1 June and runs until Saturday 30 November and from 15 August, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will publish its seasonal storm forecast cone graphic which gives hurricane warnings, tracking and other related information such as risk of tornadoes, expected landfall, flooding and hail. The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2024 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, prior to the peak of the season.

With another active hurricane season approaching, NOAA’s commitment to keeping every American informed with life-saving information is unwavering,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “AI-enabled language translations and a new depiction of inland wind threats in the forecast cone are just two examples of the proactive steps our agency is taking to meet our mission of saving lives and protecting property.”