Skip to main content

On April 4, 2024, the Climate Adaptation Center (CAC) published the first major hurricane season forecast in the country, concerned about a near-record year of hurricanes.

Analyzing months of data, the CAC saw an increased risk of hurricanes in 2024 due, in part, to record heat in the ocean and air. This combination, along with an expected La Niña, are some of the reasons the CAC forecast a whopping 24 named storms, 12 hurricanes with 6 of them becoming major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

Today, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) published their forecast, citing the same concerns and, like the CAC, expects an incredible amount of named storms and hurricanes. In fact, it’s the highest-ever they have issued for their pre-season May outlook. The NHC is forecasting 17-25 named storms, 8-14 hurricanes with 4-7 of them becoming major hurricanes.

Like the CAC, the NHC says their justification for this extreme forecast  includes the formation of La Nina, which is conducive for tropical systems to form due to warming sea surface temperatures and reduced vertical wind shear in the main formation region in the tropics.

As mentioned above, the record-breaking sea surface temperatures are already being seen across the Atlantic in May, and expected to continue through the summer, adding fuel for tropical system formation.

“Sea surface temperatures are a major factor in the rapid intensification of a tropical cyclone to major hurricane status,” Rick Spinrad, the NOAA Administrator who made the Hurricane outlook announcement, emphasized.

The most active hurricane season on record was the 2020 season. That year 30 named storms formed with 14 hurricanes tying the 2005 Hurricane season. There were also 7 major hurricanes in 2020.

Another major hurricane forecasting organization, Colorado State University (CSU), creates a confident consensus in regards to the 2024 hurricane season. Later the same day as the CAC forecast, in early April, CSU published their forecast calling for a season that would feature 170%-180% of the normal amount of tropical activity.

CSU expects 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes with five of those becoming major hurricanes.


Regardless of how many storms develop this year, make sure you have a hurricane plan. Remember, it only takes one storm. So know your evacuation zone and potential routes and have a plan and supplies ready to go, now, before the season ever starts. Even our inland residents, who may not need to evacuate, will need supplies like food and water for several days in the wake of a big storm.

Our warming climate is having a significant impact on our hurricane seasons. The CAC is committed to the climate conversation. We do this with events like the Climate Champions Awards Ceremony, Hurricane Season Forecast Day and the upcoming Annual Climate Conference in November, that will focus on human health. We also give climate presentations, focused on adaptation strategies, to thousands of people throughout the year.

You can support us in helping our conversation going by making a donation or becoming a member.

If you'd like to know what we're working on, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.