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WHY the 2024 hurricane season could be one for the record books

Posted at 6:28 PM, Apr 04, 2024

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Tropical experts with Colorado State University have released their first hurricane outlook for 2024 calling for a very active season.

CSU 2024 Hurricane Outlook April 4, 2024

"We are calling 23 named storms of those 23, 11 becoming hurricanes, and of those 11, 5 becoming major category 3, 4, 5 hurricanes. Winds of 111 mph or greater," said Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Senior Research Scientist at CSU.

Compare that to an average season of 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 majors.

Dr. Klotzbach says the two main reasons behind such an active forecast are above normal ocean temperatures in the Atlantic and predicted switch from an El Niño to La Niña heading into the summer.

"Less shear from the La Niña, warmer waters provide more fuel for storms,” said Dr. Klotzbach. “That combination typically leads to very busy hurricane seasons."

Those water temperatures are already running about 6 to 8 weeks ahead of schedule.

"Unfortunately, if those water temperatures remain as warm relatively to normal as they do now that tends to lead to busier seasons and those busier seasons if you have major hurricanes, typically your major hurricanes at some point during their lifetime undergo rapid intensification," said Dr. Klotzbach.

Given a developing La Niña, Dr. Klotzbach says we need to pay a little more attention closer to home here in Florida.

"You tend to see more storm formation in the Caribbean in La Niña years, which tends to favor storms obviously impacting the Caribbean directly and potentially being lifted north more towards Florida,” said Dr. Klotzbach. “You all tend to get more long track storms coming off Africa. And those long track storms can make all the way into the Gulf of Mexico, but they are generally more likely to hit Florida or go up the East Coast."

Given the threat of an active season including here in Southwest Florida, it is never too early to start preparing for hurricane season. Just getting one or two items between now and June 1st every time you go to the store could make it easier on your wallet. And remember it only takes one storm, like we saw with Ian, to make it a busy season for you.

Here's the 2024 list of tropical storm and hurricane names.

2024 List of Names