Colorado State’s 2024 hurricane season outlook is a doozy

Today we dive into Colorado State University’s hurricane forecast for 2024, which continues to add to the narrative for this season. Put simply: It’s likely to be busy, if not very, very busy.


  • Colorado State’s seasonal forecast for Atlantic hurricane season is their most active preseason forecast since they formally began this in the 1980s.
  • They call for 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes.
  • It would easily rank in the top 10 for most active seasons if it verifies.
Colorado State’s seasonal forecast at left, and what is normal at right. (Phil Klotzbach/CSU)

Why Colorado State?

Colorado State’s seasonal hurricane outlook is sort of a major highlight on the meteorology calendar for those of us who often deal with tropical weather. The first question I’m often asked is why on earth are we getting hurricane outlooks from Colorado State? Well, through the years, they’ve amassed a ton of research into tropical weather, beginning with Bill Gray, who began the process there in the 1970s. His research set the basis for a lot of what we understand about longer-term views on hurricanes and cycles of hurricanes. He just happened to work at CSU, and thus, they’re generally the leading experts.

Are they good at this?

They aren’t bad, and if anything, they’ve gotten a whole lot better over the years.

Colorado State’s verification metrics showing a major improvement in skill in the last 10 years with their April outlook, though still far from perfect. (Colorado State University)

What really stands out to me is how much their April forecasts have improved in the last decade. I remember 2006, the year following Katrina, Rita, Wilma, etc. and how everyone including CSU called for an active hurricane season again. And it busted pretty badly. Since then, we’ve added so many new tools and methods to look at this stuff, and thus we’re seeing the fruits of this realized in improved outlooks. Are they perfect? Absolutely not, but they’re skillful. Last year, they called for a slightly more active season despite an El Niño, which historically produces less active seasons. They were correct.

The risk of over $10 billion in normalized damage in the United States is over 50% during La Niña hurricane seasons. (Phil Klotzbach)

What does their forecast mean?

It adds to the growing body of evidence that the upcoming hurricane season is likely, if not highly likely to be quite active. Their forecast accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) is over 200, which would constitute a “hyperactive” season and be the most intense since 2017 (Harvey, Irma, Maria, etc.). It confirms basically everything we’ve discussed this year in our monthly posts on hurricane season: The Atlantic is exceptionally warm, we are likely heading toward a La Niña this summer and fall, and the historical combination of these factors would likely produce an extremely active hurricane season, perhaps one that is more active closer to land than we’ve seen in the last couple seasons. As you see above, the odds of a multi-billion dollar season in terms of damage is much higher in La Niña years nationally. Though, do take note of the Gulf Coast risk being about unchanged. Given the current state of the insurance market, this is an obvious concern this year.

Sure, but what does their forecast mean for me?

Nothing specific right now. We have no way of knowing when, where, and what will hit this summer. We just have data that says it will probably be busy. What it should mean for you is that this is the time to prepare for the upcoming season. On our preparedness page above, we have links to a bunch of local emergency management pages across the country that can give you advice or tips more specific to your area. But at a high level: Have a plan, build a kit, and review documentation to make sure you’re up to date on insurance. Preparedness is a critical element during hurricane season. We’ve seen too many examples of people being on their own for a period of time after a disaster, so the more you do now to prepare, the better off you’ll be if this is the year.

The Northeast and Canada continues to look best for Monday’s solar eclipse

As we zero in on Monday’s solar eclipse, we have one clear area emerging as probably the best for viewing. And one area remains the most pessimistic. The forecast remains fairly fluid elsewhere. We explain and tidy up the snow forecasts today into Friday below.


  • Winter weather will continue impacting the western Great Lakes today, while snow gets going in New England later, lingering into tomorrow.
  • Watching some severe weather and fire weather potential this weekend.
  • Eclipse weather continues to look most favorable the farther north you go, with a solid bullseye between Plattsburgh, NY and Fredericton, NB.

Eclipse weather still looking best in the Northeast

Here’s our daily eclipse forecast check in. The biggest change today is that conditions look a little better for northern Arkansas, Missouri, and southern Illinois. Cloud cover probabilities have continued to drop some there.

Cloud cover forecasts have improved in Missouri and southern Illinois, where average cloud cover is forecast to be around 20 to 30 percent. (Tomer Burg)

Working from north to south: It still looks great in Canada, Maine, and back through Watertown, NY. Conditions get sketchier for western New York into the Midwest before likely improving some across Illinois and Missouri.

For those of you in Texas, the news remains pessimistic. The highest odds of low cloud coverage (the best conditions) are probably located near Dallas or Texarkana. As you back toward Austin, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley, the cloud coverage is in the 60 to 80 percent range per forecast modeling right now.

Houlton, ME, Sherbrooke, Quebec, and Burlington, VT/Plattsburgh, NY look like the safest options today. This continues to evolve, so look for more updates tomorrow and Friday.

Quick weather hits

Thankfully, the higher-end portion of the tornado risk yesterday does not appear to have materialized. Kudos to the folks at the SPC for indicating in their discussion yesterday that it was rather conditional. If you read their discussion in the morning, you understood why they did what they did and why the forecast would (or would not) reach its potential. This is why we attempt to focus on facts not fear-mongering here. Is it sexy? No, but it works.

While there were a lot of storm reports yesterday, the higher end potential of the severe weather does not seem to have been realized, a risk clearly explained by the SPC in their discussion yesterday. (NOAA SPC)

Heavy snow will continue in the U.P. of Michigan, where Blizzard Warnings are in effect for Marquette. Snow totals of 1 to 2 feet for the higher terrain just south of Lake Superior are expected.

Blizzard warnings are in effect for portions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as heavy snow and wind hammer them through the evening. (NWS Marquette)

Snow continues to be on the way for Canada and New England. That develops this afternoon, and the snow total forecast has even increased a hair in spots in New England.

Snow totals in excess of 15 inches are likely in portions of Maine and New Hampshire, as well as in the Green Mountains in Vermont & northern Adirondacks in New York. (Pivotal Weather)

Look for that continue into Thursday before winding down. For southeastern Canada, expect a wide swath of 10 to 20 cm of snow from Sherbrooke and southern Quebec into the Ottawa River Valley back toward Sudbury, Ontario. Higher amounts will be possible there, in the Cape Breton Highlands, New Brunswick, the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec and the north shore of the St. Lawrence, perhaps in excess of 25 cm.

Snow totals of 10 to 20 cm, with amounts in excess of 25 cm in spots are likely from portions of Ontario through southern Quebec and into New Brunswick, the Gaspe Peninsula, and Cape Breton Highlands. (Pivotal Weather)

In addition to heavy, wet snow, gusty winds will be likely, capable of producing sporadic power outages in this region. A major snowstorm for April.

Looking ahead, the next weather items to watch will be severe weather risk in the southern Plains on Saturday, along with some critical fire weather conditions in the Texas Panhandle and portions of New Mexico. More on that tomorrow or Friday.

A major spring storm brings the kitchen sink to the Eastern half of the U.S., plus a solar eclipse update

Happy Tuesday. Today we look at the ongoing significant severe weather risk, an update on the snowstorm for New England (and Canada and parts of the Great Lakes), and a quick update on the eclipse outlook.


  • A moderate risk (level 4 of 5) for severe weather is posted for portions of Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky today, with significant tornadoes possible if the atmosphere can realize its full potential.
  • A risk of severe weather, including significant tornadoes extends south of that area today into northern Mississippi and Alabama.
  • A major snowstorm will impact portions of the Great Lakes and New England with 1 to 2 feet of snow in spots.
  • Solar eclipse outlook continues to look rather pessimistic in Texas, questionable north of there to the Midwest, and optimistic for New York, New England, and Canada.

Moderate severe weather risk for the Ohio Valley, but don’t sleep on the South

Yesterday saw a moderate risk issued for parts of Oklahoma. There were some social media posts about extreme tornado risk that seemed a bit excessive. Hail was the primary concern with yesterday’s severe weather, and in the end there were about 20 significant hail reports, with over 100 severe reports to go with it versus about 3 tornado reports. Interestingly, a lot of the bigger hail reports ended up south of the most serious concern area. Texas checked in with the majority of the significant hail, including a 3 inch report just south of Denton.

Hail reports were clustered northwest of DFW, near Denton, TX and also across Missouri to the St. Louis area. Tornado reports occurred north of Tulsa. (NOAA SPC)

Today, the threat of severe weather marches eastward toward the Midwest and Ohio Valley. A moderate risk (level 4 of 5) has already been hoisted for portions of Ohio.

A moderate risk (level 4/5) for severe weather includes Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Louisville, with an enhanced risk (level 3 of 5) surrounding it and extending south into northern Alabama and Mississippi. (NOAA SPC)

This is surrounded by a pretty healthy area of enhanced risk (level 3 of 5) that includes Nashville, Birmingham, Knoxville, and Charleston, WV.

The headline risk today is tornadoes, as the environment will be capable of producing supercell storms that could include developing long-track tornadoes — IF there is enough instability available. The current moderate risk is meant to cover that. The question is whether or not the warm front can push far enough north to destabilize that area. This is what we call a conditional risk. In other words, if instability and the ripe, really warm and humid air mass doesn’t press far enough north, you end up with probably a minimal outcome. However, if that beefier instability realizes farther north, the environment ends up being a powder keg for severe weather. Hope for the former, prepare for the latter.

To the south, I noted the enhanced (level 3 of 5) risk extending into Mississippi and Alabama. Despite the Ohio Valley being the main area to watch right now, don’t sleep on the South. In their morning discussion, the SPC highlights the potential for a risk that may need to be upgraded in some areas later today.

The “hatched” area from Ohio through northern Alabama and Mississippi indicates the potential for significant tornadoes today. While much of the focus is on Ohio and Kentucky, the risk is possible fairly far south of there, and this is highlighted by the Storm Prediction Center. (NOAA SPC)

In addition to tornadoes, the threat for damaging wind and large hail continues today as well. Heavy rain and localized flash flooding are also possible.

Impressive April snowstorm for portions of the Lakes, eastern Canada, and New England

A major winter storm for spring is still in line to impact much of New England beginning later tomorrow and into Thursday. It starts tonight in the Midwest, with major to locally extreme impacts possible across northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan.

Snow totals in excess of 2 feet are possible south and west of Marquette, with locally “extreme” winter weather impacts, even for this area. (NWS Marquette)

Lake enhancement off Lake Superior really helps here, cranking out north of 2 feet in spots in the terrain southwest of Marquette.

As the storm moves to New England, snow totals continue to look look fairly impressive, particularly given the calendar.

Forecast snow totals through Thursday evening (not including what falls Friday) could be as high as 18 to 24 inches in parts of the Adirondacks and White Mountains, with a broad swath of 8-12″+ possible surrounding that. (NWS)

Forecasts show anywhere from 8 to 12 inches over a wide area, with higher amounts likely at higher elevations. Again, this will be a different animal than the previous storm last week that brought snow to similar areas. Additionally, the snow “load” will be significant given the time of year. This will be a heavy, wet snow and when combined with gusty winds, trees and power lines do have a chance to fall in spots.

Snow will also expand into Canada with some portions of southern Quebec (Sherbrooke in particular) and New Brunswick taking the brunt of it. Snow will also impact portions of Canada west of there, with perhaps 10 to 20 cm or more of it for Ottawa and much of the Ottawa Valley. Snow should also expand up through the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. Snow forecasts are a little more challenging south of there, but some accumulation is possible for Prince Edward Island and significant accumulation perhaps in the Cape Breton Highlands. The rest of Nova Scotia should see snow changing to rain.

The European model snowfall forecast for Canada shows the highest totals in the Ottawa Valley, near Sherbrooke, the Gaspe Peninsula, portions of New Brunswick, and Cape Breton Island. (Pivotal Weather)

The snow should taper or become more showery on Friday, but there may be some lingering flakes in spots even into Saturday! Expect locally significant travel issues in these areas.

Eclipse update: Northeast and Canada looking best

Things have not changed much today, which is unfortunate news for those of us in Texas.

The National Blend of Models continues to forecast a high probability of clouds in Texas and also parts of the Midwest on Monday. There may be a minimum somewhere in between, as well as perhaps in parts of the Rio Grande Valley. (Tomer Burg)

There may be a gap in the clouds ahead of the storm over Texas, so portions of Missouri, southern Illinois, or Arkansas may, may have better luck. Additional clouds may infiltrate the Midwest, but that’s lower confidence than Texas right now. The best picks as of today? Watertown, NY, Burlington, VT, Houlton, ME, and portions of Quebec and New Brunswick. Will this change? Probably, but it’s getting a little late in the game for Texas I fear. That said, one scenario for Texas involves timing more than anything. If the storm can slow up 3-6 hours and we end up with just some thin high clouds over Texas, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. So, there are ways. It’s just getting a little harder to view it optimistically. More tomorrow.

April kicks off with a major winter storm for New England, while we warily eye eclipse forecasts (UPDATED)

See below for an update on Monday’s severe weather risk.

We’re coming to you on a Sunday evening to table set the week ahead. While we continue to check on eclipse forecast data, the bigger story in the meantime will be a major storm this week that brings a later season bout of winter to New England again. We explain what’s up there, as well as the latest forecast info on April 8th’s solar eclipse.


  • Severe weather possible from the Southern Plains into the Mid-Continent and Ohio Valley tomorrow and Tuesday.
  • A late season winter storm may bring major winter storm impacts to portions of New England and New Brunswick later Wednesday into Thursday.
  • Eclipse forecast cloud cover continues to look most pessimistic south and most optimistic north.

About that early spring… (UPDATED)

So, we’ve discussed how warm this winter was and how the northern tier really lacked a truly “good” winter. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve been making up some ground in parts of the North. And there is one more punch to be had in the Northeast this week.

The same storm system that will bring pockets of severe weather to the Mid-Continent and Ohio River Valley this week will move into the Northeast by later Wednesday and Thursday.

Click to enlarge the severe weather outlooks (from Sunday) for Monday and Tuesday, with an enhanced risk (level 3 of 5) in place for the Mid-Continent and Ohio Valley. (NOAA SPC)

(UPDATE 12:05 CT Monday): The severe weather risk has increased today for portions of the Plains and Mid-Continent.

The severe weather risk for much of eastern Oklahoma has been upgraded to Moderate (level 4 of 5) for the potential of tornadoes and especially large hail. (NOAA SPC)

Oklahoma has been upgraded to a moderate risk (level 4 of 5) particularly due to the risk of large hail. But also because of strong winds and tornado risk as well. The greatest risk is east of I-35 late this afternoon and tonight. The risk shifts east after midnight. Not to be outdone, the enhanced risk (level 3 of 5) has also been expanded to include more of North Texas (including the DFW Metro) and more of southern Indiana, beyond where it had been drawn yesterday. Tuesday’s severe risk is mostly in place where it had been yesterday, though expanded some into Tennessee.

While the tornado risk generates the most buzz, that risk is a little more challenging to pinpoint today. The hail risk is very significant. Baseball or softball size hail is possible, if not likely in some storms today across eastern Oklahoma.

Previous outlook: The severe weather risk will bring damaging wind potential and large hail, as well as isolated tornadoes to areas from eastern Oklahoma across Missouri, including St. Louis tomorrow, and into the Ohio Valley Tuesday. Both Chicago teams have their home openers on Monday, so we’ll see if they get the games in. Tuesday could be a bit of a mess as well farther east for those of you in the fantasy baseball realm.

Anyway, as this storm marches east, it will deposit about 1 to 3 inches of rain across the Midwest and into northern Appalachia. Low pressure blows up over the Great Lakes, and as it slides east, it is going to encounter a setup in New England that is absolutely ripe for a springtime winter storm mess. Cold air funneling south initially out of Quebec and then out of the northwest as the storm moves offshore will allow for a rain, sleet, snow slopfest across the region.

The initial setup Tuesday evening shows warm moist air being thrust north along the Eastern Seaboard running into colder air in New England being supplied from Canada. This should produce a rather significant winter storm.

This storm could differ from the last significant winter storm with the axis of heavier snow a little farther south. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this is a more elevation-driven play in terms of totals (where the higher elevations get the greatest snow), unlike the previous storm. The current thinking is that the greatest odds of heavy snow are most likely from southern New Hampshire and Vermont into western Maine. Snow and/or sleet will be possible down into parts of northern Massachusetts as well, north of the Worcester area. This could be some very heavy, wet snow for parts of southern New Hampshire and southwest Maine in particular, from Keene and Concord to Lewiston.

Major winter storm impacts are becoming a good possibility for parts of southwest Maine, New Hampshire, and southern Vermont and extreme northern Massachusetts Wednesday into Thursday. (NWS Gray/Portland, ME)

It’s still a bit too early to unleash snow maps and the like, but suffice to say, significant amounts are possible in these areas for April. Snow will expand north and east across Maine and into New Brunswick, with heavy amounts possible in those areas as well.

South of the wintry weather, look for the potential for heavy rain and flooding in spots. Again.

Eclipse forecast update: Good north, less encouraging south

Let’s start first with an update on afternoon rainfall probabilities for next Monday the 8th.

A composite of ensemble models with the eclipse path overlaid, showing the cumulative probability of rainfall next Monday afternoon based on the last 2-3 runs. There’s clearly a signal for high rain probabilities in Texas up through Arkansas and Missouri. (Tomer Burg)

For those of us like me in Texas, this is not at all what we were hoping to see. We’re still a week out, so a lot can change, and keep in mind that probability of rain does not necessarily mean it will be overcast at the time of totality. But, this is not encouraging.

The cloud cover forecast ensemble mean from the National Blend of Models (NBM) shows fairly high probability of clouds in Texas up through the Mississippi Valley. As you go north of there, the odds start to drop off.

The NBM forecast of average cloud cover on the ensembles suggests the greatest odds of clouds is from Texas into Arkansas, with a slight drop into the Midwest and a more significant drop in the Northeast and Canada. (Tomer Burg)

Again, a lot can change, and timing is literally everything with respect to a solar eclipse. A slight shift in timing of a storm system or track will lead to considerable impact changes on the ground. But, sitting here today, I feel least optimistic about Texas and most optimistic about Canada and the Great Lakes. If I’m picking a place right now, it’s probably like Watertown, NY or something. But this is a moving target, so watch for changes through the week, including how we’d characterize the cloud cover in the southern part of the path. Scattered clouds are doable, whereas overcast is not. We’ll watch for that later this week. We’ll have a quick update on this for you Tuesday and a more thorough update Thursday and Friday into the weekend.