Can Tourism Weather the Storm in 2024?

Weather experts have issued an advisory to prepare now for the 2024 storm season. Should that preparation include plans for when and where to travel?

While data indicates there are not necessarily more storms than normal, the intensity of storms has definitely increased, causing more damage and potential loss of lives.

According to an advisory issued by Accuweather, 2024 is going to be an explosive hurricane season that will possibly break the record of 30 named storms in one season consisting of 8-12 hurricanes (4-7 of those major) with 4-6 direct impacts on the US, particularly in the Texas, Florida Panhandle, South Florida, and the Carolinas, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Warmer Oceans Fueling Storms

Warm water can act as fuel for tropical systems to rapidly intensify into powerful and destructive hurricanes. Lead Hurricane Forecaster at AccuWeather, Alex DaSilva, explained: “Sea-surface temperatures are well above historical average across much of the Atlantic basin, especially across the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and the Main Development Region.” AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jon Porter confirmed that it is likely sea-surface temperatures across the Atlantic basin will remain well above the historical average throughout the 2024 hurricane season. Porter said,  “The Atlantic Ocean is where more than 80% of the storms form which go on to become tropical storms or hurricanes.”

Patterns Around the Globe

In the Pacific Ocean, waters are changing from the El Nino to La Nina pattern throughout most of the summer causing less wind shear in the Atlantic Ocean which actually supports development of tropical storms. In Africa, this El Nino – La Nina transition will feed as a more intense African easterly jet stream giving rise to African monsoons.

The Bermuda-Azores High pressure area may increase tropical storms and hurricanes also due to warmer oceans. This could bring more storms to the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

The Cost is High

The coastal areas have always been popular places to live and favorable destinations to travel to, so planning for travel as the world deals with climate change may indeed well take the weather into consideration.

In America alone, weather disasters cost billions of dollars causing widespread economic impacts. In 2020, year holder of the worst hurricane season to date when 11 hurricanes made landfall, damage and losses totaled between US$60-65 billion.

One simple word, like “cancellation” likely possible due to weather disasters, and the tourism chain topples like dominoes, from travelers to airlines, to hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, shopping venues, and transportation services.

The bottom line? During the 2024 hurricane season, plan your travels as wisely as possible with as  much information at hand as possible, including weather forecasts.

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