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Get Ready for a Record Breaking Hurricane Season

April 26, 2024 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The North Atlantic hurricane season is on the horizon, and this year could put even the most seasoned resilience professionals through their paces.

Pointing to warm ocean waters and an upcoming shift from El Niño to La Niña, University of Pennsylvania climate scientists are predicting between 27 and 39 named storms, with a best estimate of 33. This is a new record, beating out 2020, which ended the season with 30.

Colorado University and AccuWeather also recently released their predictions, which fall in line with Penn’s. At the heart of these estimates are the record ocean temperatures, which held for 417 straight days. This, coupled with the switch away from El Niño (which provides wind patterns that break up storm development), is likely to create particularly intense storms.

“We’ve seen many hyperactive seasons over the past decade, and in just about all cases, like our prediction for this year, the activity is substantially driven by ever-warmer conditions in the tropical Atlantic tied to large-scale warming,” said Michael Mann, Director of the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability and the Media and leader of Penn’s research team.

In 2023, seven storms were hurricanes and three intensified to major hurricanes, with Idalia being the only hurricane that made landfall in the U.S. late last August.

While it’s still early and researchers warn that a lot can change before the official start of the season June 1, now is the time to start preparing your organization for a potentially intense summer of storms.

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