Long-range forecasts are already calling for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season to be extremely active.

Commercial weather forecasting service AccuWeather has released its expectations for the 2024 season, including warnings that hurricanes could wreak destructive havoc on areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts this year.

Conditions are expected to resemble those of the 2005 and 2020 hurricane seasons, both among the most active in history.

Details of Expectations

AccuWeather experts expect that even though the Atlantic hurricane season does not officially start until June 1, major weather events could occur before that date. This would hold true with recent trends, as a named tropical system has developed before June 1 in seven of the last 10 years.

Despite the potential for a significant tropical storm system developing before the start of hurricane season, AccuWeather said that the season overall could be backloaded, meaning that hurricane activity may be at its greatest during the late-summer and early-fall months.

Understanding La Niña’s Contributions

AccuWeather anticipates that expected La Niña weather patterns during the second half of the Atlantic hurricane season could play a critical role in the overall severity of weather patterns. This is because La Niña conditions typically include reduced wind shear in the upper atmosphere, leading to a greater number of tropical storms and hurricanes. La Niña was present during the 2005 and 2020 hurricane seasons, which tallied 31 tropical systems and tied for the most active years in recorded history.

How Warm Atlantic Conditions Affect Forecasts

Hurricanes are fueled by warm water, making the record-breaking warmth of the Atlantic Ocean a cause for significant concern ahead of the 2024 season. In mid-February, Atlantic water temperatures were on par with levels more typical of July. Given these conditions, experts are concerned that storms this season could gain strength at particularly rapid rates even while in close proximity to shore.

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

As property owners attempt to mitigate their hurricane-related risks, the following steps may help:

  1. Establish a hurricane response plan, including identifying multiple evacuation routes and nearby shelters.
  2. Cover windows and doors with storm shutters or plywood and move outdoor furniture and belongings inside to avoid having them blown around by heavy winds.
  3. Protect valuables by elevating them off the floor, moving them to higher levels or storing them in waterproof containers.
  4. Review insurance policies to ensure appropriate coverage.

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