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NOAA predicting 'extremely active' 2020 hurricane season; several big storms

Posted at 11:06 AM, Aug 06, 2020

A second report in as many days is predicting an “extremely active” hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their annual August update for the Atlantic hurricane season Thursday. They are predicting 19 to 25 named storms, where 7 to 11 of them become hurricanes and 3 to 6 of those become major hurricanes with winds of 111mph or greater.

Hurricane season ends November 30.

There have already been nine named storms in 2020, the earliest that has happened since historical records began. Hurricane Isaias was also the fifth storm of the season to make landfall. It’s the fastest we’ve gotten to five land-falling storms since the old record set back in 1916.

Historically, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, only two named storms form on average by early August and the ninth storm typically does not form until October.

“This is one of the most active seasonal forecasts that NOAA has produced in its 22-year history of hurricane outlooks,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “We encourage all Americans to do their part by getting prepared, remaining vigilant, and being ready to take action when necessary.”

On Wednesday, Colorado State University’s Tropical Weather and Climate Research Center released their final predictionsfor the 2020 hurricane season. They believe there will be roughly 24 named storms, and 12 hurricanes.

“The primary reason why we’re forecasting such an active season isn’t as much the storm activity that we’ve already had, but the large-scale conditions we’ve observed during July and what we expect to see during the peak of the season,” said Dr. Phil Klotzbach, from Colorado State University.

NOAA says current oceanic and atmospheric conditions are making 2020 an active storm year, including warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures, reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced African monsoon.

Both groups say their predictions are for overall seasonal activity and do not predict landfall. Whether or not a storm comes on shore is determined by short-term weather patterns in a certain area at the time the storm forms.