Increased likelihood of hurricanes for Maine in 2024

Weather experts at Colorado State University have revised their hurricane forecasts upward for the 2024 season. I know what you're thinking. Colorado… hurricane forecast? Really?

But yes, they predict the weather for their neighbors thousands of miles away on the Atlantic coast. Their annual average for the past 30 years of named tropical storms is about 14. This year, however, CSU has increased its named storm predictions to 25, of which 12 are hurricanes and 6 are major hurricanes – like Beryl.

National Hurricane Center monitors Hurricane Beryl activity in the Caribbean

Getty Images/Joe Raedle – Hurricane and Pizza

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also predicted an above-average hurricane season for 2024. The agency's meteorologists expect 17 to 25 named storms, of which eight to 13 cyclones will develop into hurricanes and four to seven into major hurricanes.

What impact will this increase in hurricane forecasts have on Maine?

Hurricane Beryl sweeps across Jamaica

Getty Images/Joe Raedle – Hurricane Beryl approaches Jamaica

The CSU Tropical Weather and Climate Research Team said in its recent publication that the Gulf states have the highest probability of a major hurricane like Beryl hitting their coasts, with Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas having a 42 percent chance.

For the East Coast states from Georgia all the way up to Maine (yes, us!), the probability of a major hurricane hitting their shores in 2024 is a whopping 34%. This begs the question, has Maine ever been hit by a major hurricane before?

Maine has never experienced a major hurricane

National Hurricane Center monitors Hurricane Beryl activity in the Caribbean

Getty Images/Joe Raedle

A major hurricane is classified as a Category 3, 4, or 5 storm. That's wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or more. The only time the coast of Maine was hit by a Category 1 storm was in 1969, when Hurricane Gerda hit the east coast. Gerda had reported sustained winds of 80 miles per hour when it reached Vacationland.

As long as the Gulf of Maine keeps its waters cool, Maine faces very little threat of a major hurricane, despite the increasing predictions of Colorado weather forecasters. However, Mother Nature has done and will do what she wants, and that cannot be accurately predicted.

Hurricane Beryl hits Texas land

Gallery credit: Rob Carroll

The complete list of names for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season

Gallery credit: Dan Zarrow

Anna Harden

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