Researchers at Colorado State University are forecasting an “extremely active” Atlantic hurricane season this year. The forecast calls for eleven named storms during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which began on June 1st and ends on November 30th.
“Information obtained through July 2020 indicates that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will be extremely active. The Atlantic has already had 9 named storms and 2 hurricanes through August 4,” the updated forecast states.
“We estimate that 2020 will have an additional 10 hurricanes (post-31 July average is 5.9), 15 named storms (average is 10.2), 76.25 named storm days (average is 53.2), 42 hurricane days (average is 22.9), 5 major (Category 3-4- 5) hurricanes (average is 2.6) and 11 major hurricane days (average is 5.9).”
Researchers noted that the tropical Atlantic is much warmer than normal, and vertical wind shear across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean has been much weaker than normal.
Warmer than normal water across the tropical Atlantic provides more fuel for tropical cyclones and also is associated with lower than normal pressure (as was observed in July) and increased instability – all of which favor more hurricane activity.
Lower vertical wind shear allows hurricanes to better vertically couple and also inhibits entrainment of dry air into the circulation.
“It also appears likely that there will be either cool neutral ENSO or weak La Niña conditions during the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. All of these conditions in combination point to a high likelihood of an extremely active hurricane season in 2020.”