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.
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.