This summer’s Atlantic hurricane season could be “double the average”, with a rise in sea surface temperatures and a weaker La Niña weather phase.


The 2024 hurricane season is forecast to be “very active” according to the latest report issued by Acrisure Re, the reinsurance division of technology firm Acrisure.

Contributions include a year-over-year rise in sea surface temperatures, a weaker La Niña weather phase, and analogous past conditions that previously resulted in numerous hurricane declarations for comparable seasons.

Acrisure Re’s said its annual Pre-Season Hurricane Outlook is compiled by experts from the company’s analytics and modelling team to offer the best advice to clients.

The 2023 hurricane season experienced significant uncertainty in seasonal forecasts because of competing conditions in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Ultimately, 2023 had an above-normal storm count but close to average storm strength, the company said.

In contrast, forecasts for the 2024 hurricane season show much less uncertainty, according to Acrisure Re.

The analysis cited “near-unanimous agreement” among government agencies, universities and private entities that conditions are ripe for “an extremely active season”, with some models suggesting the activity could be double the average.

Key variables

  • Forecasted Atlantic Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are warmer than last year, especially in the Main Development Region (MDR). Nearly the entire Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico are forecasted to be above normal, suggesting more hurricane activity.
  • The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is predicted to be in a weak to moderate La Nina phase, which could lead to weakened vertical wind shear and enhanced hurricane activity.
  • Past analogue years would indicate that the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is trending toward a positive anomaly, likely flipping from negative to positive early during the hurricane season. It has been claimed that positive QBO values are associated with more Cape Verde storms forming in the deep tropics.
  • Conditions in the Sahel region of Africa appear to be very close to average. This means dust is unlikely to play a major role in suppressing hurricane activity.

“After the uncertain conditions we experienced last year, we have much greater certainty that the 2024 hurricane season will be very active,” said Simon Hedley, CEO, Acrisure.

“Our expert analytics and modelling teams are dedicated to staying abreast of developments, ensuring our brokers are fully equipped to offer the best advice to our clients.”

Ming Li, partner and global head of catastrophe modelling, Acrisure Re, said: “Many groups make pre-season hurricane forecasts, and this report is designed to provide context for those forecasts.”

Li added: “This year, the synchronizing forces in the Atlantic basin, including above-average SSTs forecasted and the predicted development of La Niña conditions, are likely to spur higher activity. However, how exactly this increased activity will play out remains to be seen.”