Climate Adaptation Center Predicts 24 Named Storms, 12 Hurricanes and Six Major Hurricanes for 2024

Hurricanes have been increasing in strength and number for the last decade.

By Megan McDonald April 4, 2024

Hurricane Ian's eye three hours before the storm made landfall in Cayo Costa, near Sanibel and Captiva islands.

Record-warm sea surface temperatures, an impending La Niña, low wind shear and abundant moisture are all coming together for a potentially intense 2024 hurricane season, according to Sarasota's Climate Adaptation Center (CAC). 

Last year was the fourth most active hurricane season in history, and this one is looking to keep pace, with the CAC forecasting 24 named storms, 12 hurricanes and six major hurricanes (category 3 or above).

“We’re moving into a high-threat situation,” CAC CEO and longtime meteorologist Bob Bunting told us last month. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to be wiped out this year—just that the risk of something more serious is higher than it would be in a normal summer.”

Summer storms have been increasing in strength and number for the last decade. The 2020 season had a record 30 named storms in just one season. The 2022 season brought catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ian, and the 2023 season was the fourth most active in history, despite weeks of Saharan desert dust blowing across the Atlantic Ocean's hurricane formation area and bringing down the moisture that hurricanes feed on to spin up.

That said, as Bunting points out, it's only April, hurricane season starts June 1, and things are somewhat in a state of flux—so don't panic. Nevertheless, "a record season could happen," he says. "This is the season to be vigilant."

Be Prepared: What to Do Ahead of Hurricane Season

  • Know your elevation.
  • Check your homeowner's insurance coverage.
  • Be sure all your important papers are easily accessible so you can take them with you in case of evacuation.
  • Don’t stay in low-lying areas—those at or near sea level—if a storm is coming. Even minor storms are creating much greater flood impact now because of sea level rise. (Remember Idalia?)
  • Know your evacuation routes. What's their elevation? Will they be passable by car if a big storm develops and approaches without much warning?
  • Make a plan for where you'll go in case of an evacuation.
  • Prior to a storm, figure out where you'll park your car to keep it safe from flood damage.
  • Sign up for Alert Sarasota County and Alert Manatee for emergency updates such as evacuation notices, boil water advisories, weather warnings, and hazardous traffic or road conditions.

For more information about the Climate Adaptation Center's 2024 hurricane forecast, click here.

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