2024 Hurricane Season Will be “Active,” says Expert

Warmer waters in the tropical Atlantic could spell a busy 2024 hurricane season, according to Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist Bob Robichaud.

“That is going to be a major contributor to this year’s hurricane season, and we know that from last year it was the warm water that ended up being the dominant factor,” said Robichaud.

“If we look in the Pacific, you can see that the water temperatures are actually colder. Certainly, colder than they were last year. That is a condition called La Niña, which tends to favour hurricane formation in the Atlantic.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a prediction of the 2024 hurricane season, which they projected to be “above normal,” with 17–25 named storms, 13 of which would become hurricanes and a further seven would become major hurricanes. A “normal” season in the Atlantic produces 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, of which three are major.

“They always try to achieve a 70 per cent confidence in their forecasts,” said Robichaud. “This year, it’s actually up to 85 [per cent] that they’ve achieved with these numbers. So, very high confidence level that it will be an active season this year.”

Year-over-year, Canada sees around 35 per cent of storms that form in the Atlantic reach its shores. This average, according to Robichaud, can vary wildly from year to year.

“Even though we may be looking at an active season in the entire Atlantic, we just can’t say where these storms are going to go at this stage prior to the season and if any land areas are going to be impacted,” said Robichaud.

Hurricane season runs from the first of June up until the end of November, with the bulk of storms usually forming in August, September and October. This, however, is not a steadfast rule.

“There have been storms in every month of the calendar year, so it doesn’t mean if a storm forms outside the traditional hurricane season that it’s something especially abnormal, because we have seen it before,” said Robichaud.

The list of names that will be used for named storms has also been released. The newest list is one of six that are cycled through yearly, having been used last in 2018. The names are as follows:

  • Alberto
  • Beryl
  • Chris
  • Debby
  • Ernesto
  • Francine
  • Gordon
  • Helene
  • Isaac
  • Joyce
  • Kirk
  • Leslie
  • Milton
  • Nadine
  • Oscar
  • Patty
  • Rafael
  • Sara
  • Tara
  • Valerie
  • William

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