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NC State researchers become latest to forecast “above average” hurricane season

The university’s experts expect 18 to 22 named storms to form in the Atlantic Basin this year.

Hurricane Season
Hurricane Season

RALEIGH, N.C. – The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be an active one according to researchers at North Carolina State University. This continues a trend for many organizations who issue tropical forecasts for the upcoming season.

NC State’s team is led by Dr. Lian Xie, who says the number of named storms (18 to 22) will come in above both short and long-term averages. Eight to 11 of the storms are expected to become hurricanes (74 mph or higher), while three to five could become major hurricanes (111 mph or higher).

NC State hurricane season forecast (4/18/2020) (WSLS)

Dr. Xie’s data indicates that the Gulf of Mexico could be a hot spot for tropical development. He expects six to 10 named storms to form there, with two to five becoming hurricanes. One of those hurricanes could make it to major hurricane status.

The researchers in Raleigh have joined a trend being followed by many who issued these hurricane season forecasts. Colorado State University’s Philip Klotzbach noted earlier this week that at least seven outlets are calling for an active season, including his own university, University of Arizona, AccuWeather and more.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will begin June 1 and end November 30.

About the Author:

Justin McKee presents the weather forecast on 10 News Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m. He also fills in for other meteorologists during the week.