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According to a renowned research team from Colorado State University, the 2024 hurricane season could be very intense. Picture: Pixabay

Why the hurricane season 2024 could be particularly severe

Meteorologists at Colorado State University are predicting a very intense hurricane season this year. They have forecasted eleven hurricanes, including five major hurricanes of force 3 or higher. What does this mean for travellers?

Since 1995, researchers at Colorado State University have been publishing the first forecast for the upcoming hurricane season. They are sounding the alarm for this year. Meteorologists have predicted a significantly stronger hurricane season than usual for the Atlantic.

In concrete figures, this means that the research team is expecting 23 storms for the 2024 hurricane season that will be strong enough to be named. The average from 1991 to 2020 is just 14.4.

The researchers have also forecast eleven hurricanes. This is the highest number of predicted hurricanes that the tropical weather and climate research team at Colorado State University has ever predicted in its April forecasts. The previous record for an April forecast was nine hurricanes.

Additionally, meteorologists have pointed out that the spring forecast is fraught with uncertainty due to the significant changes that could occur in the atmosphere and ocean between April and the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season from August to October.

Two reasons for high hurricane activity

The research team explains that one reason is the record warm water in the central and eastern Atlantic.Furthermore, the peak of the hurricane season is characterised by a change in the El Niño to La Niña climate phenomenon, which could also lead to an increase in hurricanes.

According to Colorado State University, there is a 62 per cent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall somewhere on the US coast this year. This could be anywhere - from Maine to Florida to Texas.

The most severe hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season was Hurricane Idalia. It made landfall as a Category 3 storm in the Big Bend region of Florida. Idalia caused damage totalling 3.6 billion US dollars (equivalent to 3.2 billion Swiss francs) and claimed several lives. The hurricane season in the Atlantic lasts from 1 June to 30 November.

Buffer days make travelling more relaxed

Hurricanes can severely disrupt air travel in particular. As a result of strong winds, travellers are threatened with rebookings and cancellations. In the worst-case scenario, airports may be closed for days.

If you want to travel more or less worry-free during the 2024 hurricane season, it is best to build in buffer days. This prevents holidays from being shortened by a delayed departure or extended by a postponed return journey.

Interestingly, hurricanes generally pose little danger to cruise ships. Although hurricanes develop very high wind speeds, they move slowly. Therefore, ships are able to change their routes according to the forecasts and avoid the hurricane area, explains the specialist portal «Cruisetricks».