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Colorado State University’s July predictions slightly increase severity of 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season


by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science has released its latest forecast, predicting a slightly increased severity of activity for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane Season. The department, known for its precise seasonal predictions, points to favourable meteorological conditions driving heightened tropical cyclone activity.


According to the early July forecast, sea surface temperatures across the hurricane Main Development Region in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean remain significantly warmer than average. These conditions create an environment conducive to hurricane formation and intensification, suggesting an increased frequency and intensity of storms throughout the season.


The forecast attributes this heightened activity partly to prevailing cool neutral ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) or La Niña conditions, which typically reduce vertical wind shear over the Atlantic. Lower wind shear facilitates the development and sustenance of hurricanes, contributing to the overall heightened storm activity expected this year.


Already, Hurricane Beryl, a powerful Category 5 storm early in the season, underscores the potential severity of the upcoming months. The forecast anticipates a total of 25 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and six major hurricanes (Category 3-4-5) for the 2024 season. These figures significantly exceed the long-term averages based on data from 1991 to 2020.


Previously, the University predicted 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes (Category 3-4-5).


Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University, emphasised the unpredictability of hurricane landfall locations despite the high forecasted activity. He stressed the importance of coastal residents remaining vigilant and adequately prepared for potential impacts, as even a single hurricane making landfall can define the severity of a season.


Based on extensive statistical and dynamic models using historical data spanning several decades, the forecast exhibits higher confidence than typical early-season predictions. It incorporates inputs from global meteorological agencies and climate models, converging on the expectation of an active hurricane season.


Dr. Klotzbach further explained the rationale behind issuing extended-range forecasts, noting their ability to provide better insights than climatology alone. These forecasts help inform the public and emergency preparedness agencies, highlighting the importance of readiness and resilience in hurricane-prone regions.


The full report can be accessed here for those interested in exploring the detailed forecast and probabilities associated with the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.


As the season progresses, Colorado State University will continue to monitor and update its forecasts, aiming to provide accurate and timely information to support informed decision-making and disaster preparedness efforts across vulnerable coastal communities.


The new projections aim to highlight the new projected hurricane activity for 2024 based on scientific analysis, emphasising the importance of preparedness in potentially affected regions.


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