NOAA predicts 'above average' 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season
May 22 2020
It looks like the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season could be a busy one.
Six to 10 of these storms could develop into hurricanes, with winds of 74 miles per hour or more, and three to six could even become major hurricanes, capable of inflicting devastating damage.
An average Atlantic season has 12 named storms, but a year ago was the fourth consecutive season to have more, with 18 named storms, including three intense hurricanes - Dorian, Humberto and Lorenzo.
In 2018, tropical storm Alberto made a late May landfall along the Florida Panhandle, and made it all the way to lower MI in the north before dispersing.
Why are forecasters expecting more activity this year?
That's not necessarily a good thing. Over the weekend, Tropical Storm Arthur formed near the Bahamas and brought rain to parts of South Florida.
The latest monthly ENSO diagnostic discussion is forecasting a 65 percent chance of neutral conditions through the summer, with slightly increased chances for La Nina going into the fall.
Several climate factors are said to be contributing to above-normal activity this year including no El Nino and warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures, as well as reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon. There were 18 named storms and 20 tropical cyclones in 2019, including three major hurricanes.
While the storm is moving away from the Mid Atlantic coast, there are still hazards impacting the U.S. Swells generated by Arthur are expected to affect portions of the mid-Atlantic and southeast U.S. coasts during the next day or two; these swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm could drop between two and seven centimeters of rain on North Carolina. This number includes tropical depressions, named storms and hurricanes. NOAA noted that its outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast.
This year's concerning forecast arrives a year after the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season that was tied with 1969 as the fourth-most active season on record. The hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.
We have already gotten one named storm before the season officially even started, with Tropical Storm Arthur blowing through the Atlantic earlier this week.