Freedom Energy Logisitics | June 2024 Newsletter

The Impact of La Niña on the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season has had a slow start, similar to 2014, with no named storms through June 11. La Niña conditions are expected to ramp up quickly this summer, bringing active hurricane activity along with varying weather patterns across the U.S. As we transition from El Niño, the Northeast may experience above-average temperatures and drier conditions, raising drought concerns until typical La Niña patterns establish by mid-July.

Most of the chatter regarding the upcoming summer revolves around the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially began on June 1. With no named storm through June 11, this is the slowest start since 2014, when we didn’t see a named storm until July 1st. Like 2014, we are in a neutral phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. However, in 2014, we were heading into an El Niño phase for the fall, not La Niña.

With a rapidly declining sea surface temperature anomaly in the equatorial Pacific, La Niña conditions ramp up quickly this summer and we’ll play catch-up to a quiet start to the tropical season.

Aside from the active hurricane season, La Niña brings some other characteristics along with it. Most notably, a wet Pacific Northwest and Ohio/Tennessee Valleys, and a drier Southern California, Southwest, southern Plains, and coastal Southeast. The storm track runs from the northern Rockies into the Ohio/Tennessee Valleys before moving up the east coast. Hurricane movement and eventually winter storm formations depend heavily on the exact placement of the jetstream. The Southeast, southern portions of the Mid-Atlantic, and the southern Plains run warmer than normal, while the northern Rockies and Plains tend to be cooler.

Image from NOAA

Given we are currently in transition out of El Niño, we won’t see the above trademark La Niña patterns until the end of summer. To begin the summer season, the storm track is less exact and may vary due to neutral conditions. In any transition, as we saw last summer, sometimes we can get stuck in patterns, or rapidly shift patterns due to other global influences. However, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a repeat of last year’s wet summer, rather, it looks as though we may see somewhat of the opposite in the Northeast, at least to start.

Outlooks for the end of June and early July show above-average temperatures along with drier conditions for the Northeast. Contrary to last summer, it could bring up concerns of drought if we don’t move the pattern into La Niña quickly enough, though we should see a stronger shift to typical La Niña conditions by the middle to end of July. Strong summer heat should settle south of the Northeast, and the pattern overall unsettled as the storm track runs through the region. By August, it’s expected we’ll be fully into the La Niña pattern, with all eyes on the Atlantic.

For an in-depth look at hurricane season and its potential impact on the energy sector, check out our detailed analysis in “Hurricane Season is Upon Us: What’s the Outlook?” This article discusses the quiet start to the season, the anticipated increase in activity as La Niña conditions strengthen, and the possible disruptions to energy infrastructure.

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Meet the Writer

Mallory Brooke
Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Nor’easter Weather Consulting

Mallory Brooke, Freedom Energy’s Meteorologist and Certified Consulting Meteorologist from Nor’easter Weather Consulting, contributes her expertise in forecasting winter trends.

Mallory Brooke, a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and Penn State graduate, began her career in Virginia before moving to Maine in 2011, where she specialized in ski area forecasting. She founded Nor’easter Weather Consulting in 2017 and has been the Official Meteorologist for the Audi FIS World Cup at Killington since 2016. Alongside her meteorological career, Mallory contributes to outdoor recreation media in Portland, ME, and holds an MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics from the University of Maine.

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