Experts increase hurricane forecast following Beryl

Homes destroyed by Hurricane Beryl lie in Clifton, Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Thursday, July 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Lucanus Ollivierre)

Colorado State University released its updated Atlantic hurricane season forecast on Tuesday, July 9.

The forecast has increased to 25 named storms with 12 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes.

“Hurricane Beryl, a deep tropical Category 5 hurricane, is also a likely harbinger of a hyperactive season,” CSU forecasters said in their report. “We anticipate a well above-average probability for major hurricane landfalls along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.”


In June, CSU forecasted 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes. At the time, these were the highest hurricane numbers ever forecast by the group.

The high numbers are driven by the switch from El Nino to La Nina that is ongoing in the Pacific, alongside very warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic.

ENSO-neutral conditions are ongoing in the Pacific with a La Nina watch in effect. The Climate Prediction Center forecasts La Nina to form from July to September and last through the winter.

La Nina brings more favorable conditions for hurricanes due to reduced wind shear across the Atlantic. Wind shear and warm waters are the main ingredients for hurricanes.

The effects of the very warm Atlantic have already been seen with Hurricane Beryl, which formed farther east than any storm of its kind on record this time of year.

Rapid intensification of tropical systems can be driven by warm sea surface temperatures. Beryl strengthened rapidly from a tropical depression to a Category 4 hurricane within two days before landfall in the Windward Islands, then strengthened further into a Category 5 hurricane at the start of July – the earliest on record.

This was largely due to the anomalously warm waters in the Main Development Region and the Caribbean Sea.

Beryl has dissipated after making landfall in Texas on Monday morning as a Category 1 hurricane

There is no development expected in the next 7 days, thanks to a large plume of Saharan dust that is moving across the Atlantic. Typically, the Saharan Air Layer will keep tropical activity to a minimum before tapering off by mid-August as the peak of hurricane season begins.

Every hurricane season can be bad when a storm hits your area. Hurricane season outlooks are just a reminder to stay prepared,

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  1. Not comforting news for the Caribbean, especially for those countries still reeling from the pounding they received from Beryl. And the current atmospheric heat does suggest that we are in for more like Beryl.


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