AccuWeather predicts 'explosive' 2024 hurricane season that could break record

AccuWeather predicts ‘explosive’ 2024 hurricane season that could break record

MIAMI – AccuWeather released its first official prediction for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season today.

It doesn’t look good, and the U.S. Virgin Islands won’t be immune from the potential impact of named storms, including Puerto Rico and the larger Caribbean region, according to AccuWeather.

AccuWeather is predicting an “explosive” hurricane season that has the potential to break the all-time record of 30 named storms in a season.

“The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to feature well above the historical average number of tropical storms, hurricanes, major hurricanes, and direct U.S. impacts,” said AccuWeather Lead Hurricane Forecaster Alex DaSilva. “All indications are pointing toward a very active and potentially explosive Atlantic hurricane season in 2024.”

Meteorologists warned people and businesses to start preparing now for the upcoming season. In fact, AccuWeather forecasters said there are signs now the first named system of the season could spin up before June 1, which is the official start of the season.

AccuWeather predicts 'explosive' 2024 hurricane season that could break record

The National Hurricane Center and  Colorado State University will release their first predictions in the coming weeks.

Indications as early as February have had forecasters on edge, predicting it will be an active season due to the combination of La Niña and record warm water temperatures in the Atlantic basin. The Atlantic basin is made up of the northern Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Here’s the AccuWeather forecast for the upcoming season:

  • 20-25 named storms
  • 8-12 hurricanes
  • 4-7 major hurricanes
  • 4-6 direct U.S. impacts
  • Texas, Florida Panhandle, South Florida and the Carolinas face heightened risk.
  • Potential to break all-time record of 30 named storms in one season.

The AccuWeather 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast calls for 20 to 25 named storms. Eight to 12 of those storms are forecast to strengthen into hurricanes. Four to six storms could directly impact the United States. 

“There is a 10 to 15 percent chance of 30 or more named storms this year. Surpassing 30 would break the record set in 2020,” said DaSilva.

Factors contributing to active hurricane season

AccuWeather meteorologists pointed to four conditions expected to bring such an active season:

  • Ocean temperatures are well above historical averages.
    • “Warm water can act as fuel for tropical systems to rapidly intensify into powerful and destructive hurricanes.”
  • The change from El Niño to La Niña.
    • La Niña brings less wind shear to Atlantic waters. When combined with warm water, those are “prime conditions for tropical development,” AccuWeather said.
  • Weather patterns in Africa.
    • La Niña could have an impact here, too, promoting a stronger African easterly jet stream, which can boost the African monsoon. That “could lead to more robust tropical waves — which could bring more tropical storms — later in the season,” AccuWeather said.
  • Changes in locations and strengths of steering winds.
  • Warmer water temperatures could shift the Bermuda-Azores High farther south and east. That could result in tropical systems re-curving in the western Atlantic and another period of storms reaching the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.