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NOAA: 2024 hurricane season outlook anticipates above-average activity

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its 2024 Hurricane Outlook that emphasizes the likelihood of an above-average Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA predicts 17-25 named storms, 8-13 hurricanes and 4-7 major hurricanes. Similar to other outlooks that have been released this year, the more aggressive forecast is in response to near-record ocean temperatures in the Atlantic and the development of a La Niña. To view the full press conference from NOAA, click HERE.

El Niño and La Niña are the warm and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific—the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or “ENSO” for short. Keep in mind that El Niño and La Niña do not “cause” any one specific weather event; rather the two phases of ENSO influence change in global climate patterns that then increase the likelihood of specific weather events. Once again, ENSO is not “to blame” for any one storm system, temperature anomaly or hurricane.

La Niña typically increases the amount of storm activity in the Atlantic basin because it decreases the amount of vertical wind shear. Vertical wind shear references strong winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere that typically work to prevent circulations like tropical systems from becoming fully formed.

The Storm Station likes to remind that “it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for you,” so prepare accordingly. There have been seasons with a lot of storms but few impacts to land and seasons with few storms but a lot of impacts to land. For more on the season ahead and preparedness, visit wbrz.com/weather and click on the hurricane center.


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