Forecasters update hurricane season forecast
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Forecasters at Colorado State University updated their forecast for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Wednesday.
CSU Meteorologist Philip Klotzbach says twenty-four tropical storms will form. Of those tropical storms, twelve are expected to become hurricanes, and five will become major hurricanes. Major hurricanes are defined as category three, four, or five hurricanes. The increases is double the 30-year averages, which are used to define what we consider normal. These numbers include tropical storms and hurricanes that have already formed. Through August 4, the 2020 Atlantic Season is more than 400% above normal in the number of tropical storms that have formed.
Klotzbach tweeted that the increase is due to “extremely warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temps,” which are currently the fourth warmest on record. He said another reason for the heightened forecast is an active West African monsoon, which produces stronger tropical waves and more favorable upper-level winds for hurricane development. Further, weaker upper level wind shear - a change in wind direction and speed with height - also adds to the indicators of a very active season.
So far we have had nine tropical storms, two of which have become hurricanes. If the forecast of twenty-four named storms occurs, we will run out of names. That has only happened once before. That was in 2005. If we run out of names, we will begin naming storms after letters in the Greek alphabet.
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