2024 Atlantic hurricane season guide: Here’s what to know about this year’s storms

The first named system in the Atlantic basin typically forms around June 20, with meteorologists tracking the first hurricane by Aug. 11. The NHC intends to de-emphasize the importance of the cone in 2024 and warn that impacts occur well outside of it.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, and pre-season forecasts indicate it could be another memorable year.

In 2023, the U.S. mainland only experienced the direct impacts of one hurricane, causing the quietest season for the Lower 48 in more than a decade.

Despite a lack of U.S. impacts, 20 named storms formed, which included seven hurricanes.

The season occurred during an El Niño cycle, which is known to suppress tropical activity in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean due to vertical wind shear and cooler water temperatures.

The opposite global weather pattern is expected to be in control in 2024, leading to more favorable atmospheric conditions across the Atlantic basin.

"When you have an El Niño like we did last year, in general, the storm pattern is to take the storms up before they get to the islands, and before they get to the U.S.," said FOX Weather Hurricane Specialist Bryan Norcross. "Now that we’ve switched to La Niña this year, there’s colder water in the Pacific that tends to create a pattern that lets storms come a little farther west and also gets them more likely into the Caribbean. And of course, once the storm gets in the Caribbean, sometimes they get up into the Gulf and affect Florida and so forth."


Enhancements to forecast products

In addition to the widening of the forecast cone, weather watchers will notice some changes in products released by the National Hurricane Center. 

Starting with tropical weather outlooks in May, the NHC will produce more Spanish-language products. According to the Instituto Cervantes, a language school and cultural center, the U.S. is home to the fourth-largest population of Spanish speakers globally, with many living in hurricane-impact zones. 

Just in time for the heart of the season, the NHC plans to start releasing an experimental forecast cone that will show all related watches and warnings from local National Weather Service offices and the hurricane center. The maps will undoubtedly be more colorful, but hurricane forecasters hope the display of alerts will help the public focus on the wide-reaching impacts of a cyclone and not the center line of the track.

"You know, we’ve been dealing with this track and focusing on where the center of the circulation might go for decades, and it’s going to be a hard habit to break," NHC Deputy Director Jamie Rhome told FOX Weather. "But I think with this new experimentation and hazard-first approach, it signals to the media that they, too, can start to evolve to a hazards-first approach."


2024 Atlantic hurricane season predictions

Colorado State University outlook: Experts led by Phil Klotzbach believe the 2024 hurricane season will be extremely active and released their busiest seasonal outlook ever issued during April. The CSU team expects 23 named storms. Of those, 11 could become hurricanes, and at least five could become major hurricanes, with winds of at least 111 mph.

North Carolina State University outlook: Unlike CSU, forecasters at NCSU released ranges of expected tropical cyclone activity but came to the same conclusion as their counterparts that it’ll be an active hurricane season. According to NCSU, 15-20 named storms are expected to form, with 10-12 that may grow into hurricanes. At least three to four hurricanes are expected to strengthen into major hurricanes.

University of Arizona outlook: Citing expected water temperatures from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model, U of A forecasters said to expect 21 named storms, 11 hurricanes and five major hurricanes. "Storms should form easily and often this year," tropical weather experts stated.


2024 Atlantic hurricane storm names

Twenty-one names make up the list for the Atlantic Ocean. 

The last time there was a cyclone named Alberto, Beryl and Chris was in 2018. The season also produced significant hurricanes, such as Florence and Michael. The World Meteorological Center retired these storms due to the deaths and destruction they caused and replaced the names with Francine and Milton.

Here are the 2024 hurricane names with pronunciations: 

  • Alberto (al-BAIR-toe)
  • Beryl (BEHR-ril)
  • Chris (kris)
  • Debby (DEH-bee)
  • Ernesto (er-NES-toh)
  • Francine (fran-SEEN)
  • Gordon (GOR-duhn)
  • Helene (heh-LEEN)
  • Isaac (EYE-zik)
  • Joyce (joys)
  • Kirk (kurk)
  • Leslie (LEHZ-lee)
  • Milton (MIL-ton)
  • Nadine (nay-DEEN)
  • Oscar (AHS-kur)
  • Patty (PAT-ee)
  • Rafael (rah-fah-ELL)
  • Sara (SAIR-uh)
  • Tony (TOH-nee)
  • Valerie (VAH-lur-ee)
  • William (WILL-yum)