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NOAA Released Its 2024 Hurricane Forecast, and It's Not Great

Plus, here are the names for this year's storms.

By Megan McDonald May 28, 2024

NOAA's GOES-16 satellite captured Hurricane Idalia approaching the western coast of Florida while Hurricane Franklin churned in the Atlantic Ocean on August 29, 2023.
NOAA's GOES-16 satellite captured Hurricane Idalia approaching the western coast of Florida while Hurricane Franklin churned in the Atlantic Ocean on August 29, 2023.

Image: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year, echoing the forecast of the Sarasota-based Climate Adaptation Center, which predicted 24 named storms in April. 

NOAA’s outlook for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which spans June 1 to Nov. 30, 2024, predicts an 85 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 10 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 5 percent chance of a below-normal season. The reason? La Niña activity, near-record-warm sea surface temperatures, and low wind shear, all of which act as fuel for forming storms. (You can read more about how all of these elements influence hurricane formation here.)

NOAA forecasters are also predicting between 17 to 25 total named storms (named storms have winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, eight to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes (storms with winds of 74 mph or higher), including four to seven major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5 storms with winds of 111 mph or higher). 

The lineup of names for this year's Atlantic hurricane season.
The lineup of names for this year's Atlantic hurricane season.

Image: NOAA

As for the names of this year's storms, they are Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Francine, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Milton, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie and William. Our region has been particularly affected by hurricanes with "I" names in the past (thinking of you, Irma, Ian and Idalia)—let's hope Isaac keeps its distance.

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