Colorado State University (CSU), a top hurricane forecaster, has issued an updated 2020 hurricane forecast based on the latest data.
The new forecast calls for more storms than their original forecast issued in April earlier this year. Information obtained through June 2020 indicates that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will have activity above the 1981-2010 average.
Tropical Storms Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly and Edouard have formed in the Atlantic as of July 7. CSU now forecasts that 2020 will have nine hurricanes (full-season average is 6.4), 20 named storms -- including the five we’ve already seen (average is 12.1) -- four major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.7).
CUS’s original forecast called for eight hurricanes, 16 named storms, and four major hurricanes. The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 135 percent of the long-period average.
Factors in this forecast include both cool and warm water. Sea surface temperatures averaged across the eastern and central tropical Pacific are slightly cooler than average, and it appears likely that there will be either cool neutral ENSO or weak La Niña conditions during the remainder of the 2020 hurricane season. This tends to increase tropical activity in the Atlantic Basin.
The tropical Atlantic is somewhat warmer than normal, while the subtropical Atlantic is very warm. Most of the eastern Atlantic is warmer than normal, and anomalously warm temperatures in this region in June have been typically associated with more active Atlantic hurricane seasons.
These forecasts do not specifically predict where within the Atlantic basin these storms are likely to strike. The probability of landfall for any one location along the coast is very low and reflects the fact that, in any one season, most U.S. coastal areas will not feel the effects of a hurricane no matter how active the individual season is.
However, it’s important to remember that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for a particular location, so you need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.
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