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National Hurricane Center issues 2024 forecast

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The National Hurricane Center of the United States has issued their forecast for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.

The forecast calls for a very active season when it comes to the number of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes expected.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season forecast issued by the National Hurricane Center as part of the National Oceangraphic and Atmospheric Administration. (Source: National Hurricane Center)

Seventeen-to-25 named storms are being forecasted. Eight-to-13 of those storms are strengthening to hurricanes with four-to-seven becoming major hurricanes. A major hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 178 km/h or higher near its centre. All of those numbers are above climate averages for the season.

The factors being given for the active forecast include:

  • near record warmth in the ocean waters of the Atlantic. Warm ocean waters provide the fuel for tropical storms and hurricanes
  • development of La Nina conditions in the Pacific. This produces a more favourable wind environment over the Atlantic, giving storms a better chance of organizing and strengthening
  • potential for an above-normal west African monsoon season. That could produce more thunderstorms off the coast of Africa which can then act as “seeds” for tropical storms and hurricanes

“It’s like bathwater out there,” says Florida-based meteorologist Steve Weagle.

“They’re the warmest temperatures we’ve ever recorded in most areas. So they’re not just a little bit above normal. We’re not talking a degree or two above normal, they are super high.

The list of names to be used for storms for the 2024 season. (Source: National Hurricane Center)

In general a higher frequency of developed storms comes with an increased risk one could make landfall in Atlantic Canada.

After experiencing major storms in 2022 and 2023, officials in the province of Nova Scotia say they are preparing ahead of time.

“We have extra equipment that we’ve purchased for this year, knowing it’s going to be a particularly bad season,” says Erica Fleck, Halifax Regional Municipality emergency management director.

It only takes one land-falling storm to make it a bad season. Hurricane Fiona impacted the Maritimes in 2022, a year that was actually near-average when it came to the number of tropical storms and hurricanes.

All residents should have a plan in the event we are impacted by a strong storm. Tips for preparation can be found here.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis.

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