Hurricane Season is Here.

Be Prepared: June 1, 2024 to November 30, 2024.

NOAA National Weather Service forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center predict above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year. NOAA’s outlook for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which spans from June 1 to November 30, predicts an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season and a 5% chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA is forecasting a range of 17 to 25 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 8 to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 4 to 7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). Forecasters have a 70% confidence in these ranges. This is the greatest number of storms ever predicted for a May outlook, so now is the time to be prepared.

Current El Niño conditions are likely to transition to La Niña conditions this summer/fall, leading to hurricane-favorable wind shear conditions. Sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central Atlantic are currently at record warm levels and are anticipated to remain well above average for the upcoming hurricane season. A warmer-than-normal tropical Atlantic provides a more conducive dynamic and thermodynamic environment for hurricane formation and intensification. This forecast is of above-normal confidence for an early April outlook. Colorado State University also anticipates a well above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season. Thorough preparations should be made every season, regardless of predicted activity. While the total number of storms in a season can give an indication of overall activity, it's the track of each individual storm that determines impact.

When monitoring a storm, be sure to get your information from an OFFICIAL source such as The National Hurricane Center AND/OR The National Weather Service.

The best protection during and after a hurricane is advance preparation both at home and at work. Just as we have an emergency preparedness plan for the 20th Judicial Circuit, you should have one for your family and home.

Our first concern is the safety of our employees and your families. Secondly, it is important that the courts remain open and functioning at all times, or in the event that the courts close, it is imperative that they reopen on at least a mission-critical basis as quickly as possible after closing.

When storms develop, we monitor the progress closely. Should one threaten our area, employees will be notified of actions to be taken in a number of ways: email, social media, direct communications from Court managers and supervisors, and information releases through the media (TV, radio, newspapers).

Here are links to the Circuit's social media accounts:

We have also implemented the Send Word Now emergency notification system. This will allow Court Administration to contact employees via email, text, and phone. It also allows for two-way-communication so you can let us know you received the notification and are ok.

In the event that a "Hurricane Warning" is issued for all or part of our area, the Chief Judge will decide whether the affected courts should be closed. Employees will be directed to go home and prepare for the storm.

Following a storm, you will be notified to return to work in a number of ways: Send Word Now, information releases to the media, Internet, and/or direct contact by a supervisor or court manager. You can also check the 20th Judicial Circuit Information hotline number at (239) 533-1773. The hotline will provide information on closures/ openings for all five counties in the 20th Judicial Circuit.

To assist you in planning and preparing for a storm you may find the following websites helpful. Share these with your friends and family to ensure that they're prepared.

County Emergency Management Links: