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Hurricane Season Forecast: 2024 Expected to Be a Rough One

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season will be “extremely active,” according to one of the most well-regarded and reliable weather forecasters. 

The April prediction from the meteorological pros at Colorado State University gets the jump on many other weather watchers such as the National Hurricane Center, which will start issuing outlooks in May ahead of the Caribbean hurricane season’s start in June. Hurricane season lasts through November, typically hitting its peak in August and September.

CSU is forecasting 23 named storms for 2024, a significantly higher total than the historical average of 14 per season. Of those storms, the forecast says 11 could become hurricanes (with wind speeds of at least 74 mph) and five could become major hurricanes (with wind speeds of at least 111 mph). 

Travel Weekly reports that 11 is the highest number of hurricanes CSU has ever predicted in April since the university began issuing forecasts in 1995. The previous high was nine. 

The reason the Caribbean and U.S. Atlantic coastline seem to be in for an especially turbulent hurricane season, according to the forecast, has to do with record-high sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central Atlantic combined with current El Niño weather patterns transitioning to La Niña conditions.

While El Niño’s increased upper-level winds often break up storms, La Niña is characterized by decreased upper-level winds that “result in reduced vertical wind shear, favoring Atlantic hurricane formation and intensification,” per the CSU forecast. 

Boiling ocean temps further fuel storms—one reason why 2023 had an “above-normal” level of named storms despite El Niño conditions, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Altogether, the year saw 20 named storms, the fourth-highest total since 1950. (A September 2023 satellite image of Hurricane Lee and Tropical Storm Margot appears at the top of this page.)

If the early forecasts from meteorologists pan out, 2024 could be a lot worse. 

Travelers planning to visit Caribbean islands or coastal areas of the eastern U.S. during hurricane season, especially in late summer and early fall, are advised to read up on tips for preparing for severe weather from sources such as and the CDC

To lower your chances of encountering a hurricane when you travel, consult our list of Caribbean islands that almost never get hit