Expect one of the most active hurricane seasons in 20+ years, NOAA says

Thursday, August 6, 2020
Expect one of the most active hurricane seasons in 20+ years, NOAA says
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Expect one of the most active hurricane seasons in 20+ years, NOAA says

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- NOAA is now calling for an "extremely active" hurricane season. The group released its annual August update to the 2020 hurricane season outlook that's originally issued in May.

NOAA said this is one of the most active season forecast that the agency has produced in their 22-year history of producing outlooks

In May, NOAA called for an "above normal" hurricane season, including 13-19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, 3-6 major hurricanes. In the group's latest update, the forecast has increased to "extremely active," and is now calling for 19-25 names storms, 7-11 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes. A major hurricane is a category 3 or higher.

So far the season has already gotten off to a record breaking start. Typically, only two named storms form by early August. After Isaias, we are currently up to 9 named storms.

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There are a couple of contributing factors to this active season. Sea surface temperatures are warmer than average, and vertical wind shear has been reduced. Warm ocean temperatures are "fuel" for tropical systems. Wind shear can disrupt and even tear apart a tropical storm so reduced wind shear allows these storms to survive longer.

Unfortunately, these hurricane conducive conditions are expected to continue for the next few months.

It's also possible that La Nina could develop late this year. La Nina can weaken wind shear over the Atlantic, allowing storms to have a longer lifespan.

SEE ALSO: 2020 hurricane season: This year's storm name list

Colorado State University, which also consistently makes hurricane predictions and forecasts, also issued an update to its 2020 forecast Wednesday.

They are now forecasting 24 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes.

Keep in mind these forecasts are for overall activity, not landfall. Still, it's always a good time to make sure you have a hurricane kit and plan in place.

SEE ALSO: How to prepare your hurricane kit during COVID-19