ROANOKE, Va. – Thursday morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its forecast for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. In it, they call for an above-average season.
The forecast calls for 13- to 19 named storms and 6 to 10 hurricanes. 3 to 6 of those storms are forecast to become Category 3 hurricanes or stronger. That doesn’t mean that all these storms will make landfall in the United States.
This means that these storms will develop in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and/or the Caribbean Sea.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1, but has gotten a head start this year with Tropical Storm Arthur. The other names are listed below.
In NOAA’s forecast, they cite the following for reasons of a more active season in 2020.
1. Lack of El Niño: Cooler to neutral water temperatures in the eastern Pacific result in minimal wind shear in the Atlantic basin. This means that more major/stronger hurricanes can form.
2. Warmer sea-surface temperatures: The water in the Gulf and in many portions of the Atlantic is warmer-than-average. Tropical systems feed off of water that’s 80° F or warmer.
3. Climatology: The trend has been for more frequent, slower-moving systems.