NOAA forecasts ‘extraordinary’ year for Atlantic hurricanes

By Rob Hotakainen | 05/23/2024 01:27 PM EDT

Administrator Rick Spinrad said the number of predicted storms and hurricanes is the highest ever for a May outlook.

FILE - This GOES-East GeoColor satellite image taken at 9:56 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, and provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Ian passing over western Cuba. The familiar “cone of uncertainty” produced by the National Hurricane Center to forecast the location and ferocity of a tropical storm is getting an update this year to include predicted impacts in inland areas, where wind and flooding are sometimes more treacherous than damage to the coasts. (NOAA via AP, File)

A satellite image taken Sept. 27, 2022, shows Hurricane Ian passing over western Cuba. The destructive hurricane later hit Florida. NOAA/AP

NOAA predicted a record hurricane season Thursday, forecasting that up to 25 named tropical storms will hit the Atlantic basin this year, including four to seven major hurricanes.

The 2024 season, which officially begins next week, “is looking to be an extraordinary one in a number of ways,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, speaking at a press conference in Washington.

“Of note, the forecast for named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes is the highest NOAA has ever issued for the May outlook,” Spinrad said, adding that “the warmer ocean means it’s a more energetic ocean.”


Overall, NOAA said, there’s an 85 percent chance of an above-normal season this year, a 10 percent chance of a near-normal season and only a 5 percent chance of a below-normal season.