FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- If this latest prediction is accurate, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will be the second busiest on record, behind only 2005, the year that spawned Katrina and Wilma and so many other storms (28 in total) that they ran out of letters to name them.
The hurricane experts at Colorado State University said in their latest forecast for the 2020 season, issued Wednesday, that they expect 24 named storms, 12 hurricanes and five major hurricanes this year.
That's up from the numbers they predicted in their outlooks in June and July, the latter of which called for 20 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes.
"Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic are much warmer than normal, and vertical wind shear is well below average," say the outlook's authors, Phil Klotzbach, Michael M. Bell and Jhordanne Jones.
These conditions have turned the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, into a storm assembly line, with nine named storms and two hurricanes having been cranked out so far, including the recent Isaias, which did a close shave of Florida's Atlantic Coast on the weekend and then barreled up the U.S. East Coast.
"All of these conditions in combination point to a high likelihood of an extremely active hurricane season in 2020," said the Colorado State outlook.
If this prediction holds, names will be pulled from the Greek alphabet, just like they did in 2005. (The 2020 storm name list has 21 names, with no names being designated for the letters Q, X, U, Y and Z.)
Unfortunately, the grim prediction in an already grim pandemic year from Colorado State University's experts mirrors the consensus from the community of tropical weather scientists, including the U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center, which is also forecasting a busy season.
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