NOAA Issues Highest-Ever May Forecast For The Atlantic Hurricane Season

By iHeartRadio

May 23, 2024

Satellite view of hurricane Dorian, year 2019
Photo: Roberto Machado Noa / Moment / Getty Images

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued its highest-ever May forecast for the upcoming hurricane season. NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad announced in a news conference that the agency predicts between eight to 13 hurricanes and 17 to 25 named storms for the season. Storms are named when their wind speeds reach or exceed 39 mph.

The forecast is based on near-record warmth in much of the Atlantic Ocean and a strong likelihood of La Niña conditions, leading to an 85% chance of an above-normal season along the Atlantic seaboard. Ken Graham, the director of the National Weather Service, stated, "All the ingredients are definitely in place to have an active season."

The hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, typically peaks in late summer and early fall.

NOAA's forecast aligns with predictions from nearly every public, private, and government hurricane forecast service. On average, these services have predicted 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes, which are storms that reach Category 3 or higher, based on their wind speeds.

However, the high forecast does not necessarily mean that a strong hurricane will make landfall in the U.S. As meteorologist Philip Klotzbach from Colorado State University explained to NBC News, "We have no idea where the storms are going to go, but in general, when you throw a heckuva lot of darts at the board — one of them starts to stick."

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