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MyRadar releases its first annual tropical outlook ahead of Atlantic hurricane season

by Noah Ansley


MyRadar releases its first annual tropical outlook ahead of Atlantic hurricane season

This year’s 62% increase in average Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) indicates a hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season similar to the historical 2020 season

ORLANDO, Fla. [May 31, 2024] — MyRadar today released its first tropical outlook of the year ahead of the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on Saturday, June 1. Predominantly affecting the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and southwest Atlantic Ocean, this hurricane season is expected to be one of the most active on record.

“Seasonal tropical cyclone forecasting is very challenging, but current conditions and seasonal outlooks suggest this season will unfortunately be as active as 2020, which saw a record high of 30 named storms, 14 hurricanes and seven major hurricanes,” said Dr. David Ryglicki, MyRadar’s tropical expert, principal investigator and award-winning meteorologist and data scientist. “We’re committed to providing impacted citizens access to free, reliable weather insights ahead of this expected intensified activity. I strongly encourage anyone near the Gulf Coast region to utilize the MyRadar app for actionable live weather updates on any and all storms that form this year.”

Nearly all meteorological centers worldwide are forecasting the upcoming season’s Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE), which considers both the intensity and duration of tropical cyclones, to be above 200 — a 62% increase compared to the seasonal average of 123. Using a variety of data sources including seasonal predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration alongside analyses performed by academic partners, Dr. Ryglicki determined there are two significant factors resulting in this concerning forecast: the ending of an El Niño episode in the central equatorial Pacific and the abnormal warmth of the Atlantic’s sea surface temperatures, or SST.

El Niño years end and La Niña years begin:

  • El Niño and La Niña are oceanic phenomena focused on the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

  • When the waters closer to South America are warmer than those near Indonesia, these are El Niño conditions that typically suppress hurricane activity. Consequently, La Niña conditions typically increase hurricane activity.

  • Multiple observational analyses indicate that El Nino is already over and the transition to La Nina is under way.

  • Using a suite of models that target the El Niño Southern Oscillation index, experts expect El Niño to transition toward an expected La Niña event in July. This could potentially allow long-track tropical storms to further develop across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico during the season’s peak. 

Atlantic sea surface temperatures heat up ahead of schedule:

  • SSTs in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, are alarmingly warm for this early in the season. 

  • Warm ocean waters provide the necessary fuel — heat and moisture — to sustain violent tropical systems through enhanced evaporation, increasing the likelihood of waves intensifying into tropical cyclones.

  • Data from NOAA shows that as of May 26, the Caribbean Sea's current average SSTs — 29.2 degrees Celsius — are higher now than their September peak would be in a normal season — 28.9 degrees Celsius.

MyRadar will host a series of informative webinars throughout the upcoming hurricane season to provide the latest updates on how storms will impact citizens across the Caribbean, U.S. Gulf states and the southeast Atlantic region. The first webinar will air on June 26th at 12:00 pm EST and can be accessed at https://myradar.com/webinars/hurricane-season-webinar/

About MyRadar

With more than 50 million downloads across iOS, Android and Windows platforms, MyRadar develops science and technology applications to provide unparalleled access to weather and environmental data. By providing severe weather alerts for tropical storms, earthquakes, wildfires, blizzards and road weather conditions, MyRadar facilitates informed decision-making in a rapidly changing climate. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, MyRadar ensures individuals and organizations stay informed and prepared. For further information, visit myradar.com.

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