NOAA predicts ‘above average’ 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

NOAA predicts ‘above average’ 2020 Atlantic hurricane season
Are you ready for hurricane season? Experts say it will be a busy one. (Source: NOAA/CNN)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Hurricane season officially begins in just a few weeks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an “above average” 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Hurricane Season Outlook
Hurricane Season Outlook (Source: WMC Action News 5)

NOAA forecasters are predicting 13 to 19 named storms this season which runs from June 1 through November 30th.

Six to ten of the storms NOAA predicts will become hurricanes, with three to six of them booming major Hurricanes, Category 3 to 5 with winds 111 mph or higher.

Back in early April, Colorado State University Forecasters predicted a similar outcome, with the season being above average for this year.

Hurricane Season Outlook
Hurricane Season Outlook (Source: WMC Action News 5)

CSU forecasted 16 named storms, with eight of them becoming hurricanes and four of them reaching major hurricane status.

Compared to the 30-year average, which is 12 named storms with six of them reaching hurricanes and three of them becoming major hurricanes of a Category 3 storm or higher.

NOAA also explains that this 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, there is a 60 percent chance of an above-average season, a 30 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of ra below-normal season. The next update to the predictions from NOAA will come in early August.

The reasoning behind the prediction of above-normal tropical activity is due to lack of El Nino, which usually results in stronger wind shear that can tear apart forming storms, sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean Sea are warmer than normal, according to forecasters.

With the lack of shear and the increase in warmer waters, that is a recipe for developing tropical cyclones to strengthen in the ocean waters, according to NOAA.

Hurricane Season Outlook
Hurricane Season Outlook (Source: WMC Action News 5)

The tropical season did begin a few weeks early, Tropical Storm Arthur popped up in the Atlantic Ocean, marking the sixth year in a row that a named storm formed in May or earlier.

Looking back at last year’s activity, there were 18 named storms and six hurricanes including three major hurricanes, Dorian, Humberto and Lorenzo.

Hurricane Dorian at peak intensity over Grand Bahama
Hurricane Dorian at peak intensity over Grand Bahama (Source: KSLA News 12)

Dorian was the storm that ravaged the Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, major storm surges and heavy rains in a multiple day impact on the island chain.

Stay with the WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather team during this upcoming hurricane season as we give you the latest outlooks on what is happening across the ocean waters.

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