Ocean heat and La Nina combo likely mean more Atlantic hurricanes this year

(23 May 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

NOAA
Washington D.C. – 23 May 2024
1. Various of NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad arriving to podium
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Rick Spinrad, NOAA Administrator:
++PARTIALLY COVERED++
"This season is looking to be an extraordinary one in a number of ways based on our data and models with the El Nino and La Nina playing out a significant role. NOAA is predicting an above average 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. Specifically, there’s an 85% chance of an above normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and a 5% chance of a below normal season."

ASSOCIATED PRESS
ARCHIVE: Steinhatchee, Florida – 30 August 2023
3. Various drone footage of flooding after Hurricane Idalia ++MUTE++

NOAA
Washington D.C. – 23 May 2024
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rick Spinrad, NOAA Administrator:
++COVERED++
"For the range of storms expected, NOAA calls for the following: 17 to 25 named storms, with a top sustained wind of at least 39mph. Of these, 8 to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes, with maximum sustained winds of at least 74mph, and 4 to 7 are forecast to become major hurricanes. That is, category 3 to 5, with maximum sustained winds of at least 111mph. Of note, the forecast for name storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes is the highest NOAA has ever issued for the May outlook."

ASSOCIATED PRESS
ARCHIVE: Perry, Florida – 30 August 2023
5. Various of damage from hurricane Idalia

NOAA
Washington D.C. – 23 May 2024
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ken Graham, National Weather Service Director:
++PARTIALLY COVERED++
"So all the ingredients are definitely in place to have an active season. And you know, it’s reason to be concerned, of course, but not alarmed. So we need to use this time to to our advantage to, to really be prepared for the hurricane season. And if you think about a hurricane threatening, definitely got to take the time to plan."

ASSOCIATED PRESS
ARCHIVE: San Juan, Puerto Rico – 20 September 2017
7. Various strong winds and rain lashing streets of San Juan from Hurricane Maria
STORYLINE:
Get ready for what nearly all the experts think will be one of the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, thanks to unprecedented ocean heat and a brewing La Nina.

There’s an 85% chance that the Atlantic hurricane season that starts in June will be above average in storm activity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday in its annual outlook.

The weather agency predicted between 17 and 25 named storms will brew up this summer and fall, with 8 to 13 achieving hurricane status (at least 75 mph sustained winds) and four to seven of them becoming major hurricanes, with at least 111 mph winds.

An average Atlantic hurricane season produces 14 named storms, seven of them hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

“This season is looking to be an extraordinary one in a number of ways,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said. He said this forecast is the busiest that NOAA has seen for one of their May outlooks; the agency updates its forecasts each August.

About 20 other groups — universities, other governments, private weather companies — also have made seasonal forecasts. All but two expect a busier, nastier summer and fall for hurricanes. The average of those other forecasts is about 11 hurricanes, or about 50% more than in a normal year.

“All the ingredients are definitely in place to have an active season,” National Weather Service Director Ken Graham said. “It’s a reason to be concerned, of course, but not alarmed.”

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