Forecasters Predict ‘Hyperactive’ Hurricane Season

(CMC) — Regional forecasters Thursday predicted a “hyperactive” 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season with up to 29 named storms, 13 of which are likely to become hurricanes, including seven major hurricanes.

The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute of Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), presenting its Wet/Hurricane Season Caribbean Climate Outlook Forums (CariCOF), said historical activity in the region is similar to the years 2010, 2013, 2020 and 2023.

It said modules suggest a 66 per cent chance of at least one major hurricane tracking through the Caribbean, adding that 2024 resembles 2010, which began as the driest year in the eastern Caribbean but ended as the wettest on record, including the deluge and devastation wrought by Hurricane Tomas.

Presenting the outlook, Specialist Meteorologist at Hydrometeorological Service of Guyana, Komalchand Dhiram, said that Saharan dust is likely to impact cyclone activity during the earlier part of the hurricane season.

“With no intrusion or very limited intrusion of the Saharan dust, a hyperactive 2024 Atlantic Hurricane season is anticipated,” he said, noting that the CIMH is only able to forecast Sharan dust intrusion up to two weeks in advance.

“If there is to be frequent Saharan dust, it will delay the onset of these activities, but not necessarily reduce the impact or the intensity of these activities. And that is because as we move away from August, the intrusion of Saharan dust decreases,” Dhiram explained.

He said that historically, the Caribbean sees an average of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, adding that different forecasting agencies had settled on similar numbers.

Last month, Colorado State University, in its outlook, predicted 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes and five major hurricanes, the same as for Tropical Storm Risk’s forecast released four days later.

For The Weather Co, the forecast is 25 named storms, 12 hurricanes and six major hurricanes, according to its May 16 outlook.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center was yet to release its forecast.

“Looking at these numbers here, there is a high consensus of approximately in the mid-20s named storms, of which close to 13 are hurricanes and major hurricanes, seven,” Dhiram said.