With more than three months to go before its official start, AccuWeather meteorologists warn that a “blockbuster” hurricane season is possible, paying particular attention to late season storms.

Two factors prompted the alarm—the return of La Niña and historically warm water across the Atlantic Ocean.

A current El Niño pattern is forecast to transition into a La Niña pattern during the second half of the hurricane season, AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jonathan Porter said, noting that La Niñas typically produce more Atlantic storms.

“La Niña was building fast during the 2005 season, and was firmly established amid the 2020 season,” AccuWeather said, noting hurricane seasons in those years tied for the most active in recorded history (31 tropical systems).

2024 “could be a back-loaded season,” AccuWeather stated, noting that La Niña might not officially develop until late summer or early autumn. That doesn’t mean homeowners can rest easy early on. Systems have developed before June 1 in seven of the past 10 years.

Noting that warm water “is the fuel for hurricanes,” AccuWeather sees signs pointing to “record-shattering warmth” across the Atlantic basin in summer and fall. As of mid-February, Atlantic water temperatures were at levels more typically reported in mid-July.

For more information, visit AccuWeather.com: “AccuWeather sounding alarm bells: Super-charged hurricane season possible in 2024