Experts at Colorado State University Predict 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Will Be More Active Than Normal

By  //  May 14, 2020

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16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes are expected this season

The opening of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is less than 60 days away and is predicted to be more active than usual, according to the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project. (NASA image)

The opening of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is less than three weeks away and is predicted to be more active than usual, according to the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project.

The latest forecast, released last month, calls for 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or higher (115-plus-mph winds) on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

This forecast is above the 30-year average (1981 to 2010) of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Below is Thursday’s complete Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project forecast:

We anticipate that the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have above-normal activity. Current warm neutral ENSO conditions appear likely to transition to cool neutral ENSO or potentially even weak La Niña conditions by this summer/fall.

Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic are somewhat above normal.

Our Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation index is below its long-term average; however, most of the tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal.

We anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.

As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them.

They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will officially start on June 1 and above are the names for the season, which peaks September 10 and ends November 30.
Names of 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Storms Released, Preseason Forecast Calls for 15 Named StormsRelated Story:
Names of 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Storms Released, Preseason Forecast Calls for 15 Named Storms

Information obtained through March 2020 indicates that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will have activity above the 1981-2010 average.

We estimate that 2020 will have about 8 hurricanes (average is 6.4), 16 named storms (average is 12.1), 80 named storm days (average is 59.4), 35 hurricane days (average is 24.2), 4 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.7) and 9 major hurricane days (average is 6.2).

The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 130 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2020 to be approximately 140 percent of their long-term averages.

This forecast is based on a new extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that was developed using 38 years of past data. Analog predictors are also utilized.

We are also including statistical/dynamical models based off data from both the ECMWF SEAS5 model and the Met Office GloSea5 model as two additional forecast guidance tools. We are also including probability of exceedance curves to better quantify the uncertainty in these outlooks.

Experts anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall in 2020 along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them.

The current warm neutral ENSO event appears likely to transition to either cool neutral ENSO or weak La Niña during the summer/fall. The tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal, while the subtropical Atlantic is quite warm, and the far North Atlantic is anomalously cool.

The anomalously cold sea surface temperatures in the far North Atlantic lead us to believe that the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation is in its negative phase. While a cold far North Atlantic is typically associated with a cold tropical Atlantic, that has not occurred this winter.

Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

The early April forecast is the earliest seasonal forecast issued by Colorado State University and has modest long-term skill when evaluated in hindcast mode.

The skill of CSU’s forecast updates increases as the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season approaches.

For the first time this year, we are also presenting probabilities of exceedance for hurricanes and Accumulated Cyclone Energy to give interested readers a better idea of the uncertainty associated with these forecasts.

AccuWeather’s 2020 Hurricane Season Forecast Calls For ‘Above-Normal’ Tropical Activity in AtlanticRelated Story:
AccuWeather’s 2020 Hurricane Season Forecast Calls For ‘Above-Normal’ Tropical Activity in Atlantic

ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2020

• Named Storms – 16
• Named Storm Days – 80
• Hurricanes – 8
• Hurricane Days – 35
• Major Hurricanes  – 4
• Major Hurricane Days – 9
• Accumulated Cyclone Energy – 150
• Net Tropical Cyclone Activity – 160

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