Extremely active 2020 hurricane season expected

New forecasts put the season on track to be the second busiest on record
Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 1:35 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Just one day after Isaias caused chaos along the East Coast, Colorado State University released its updated 2020 Atlantic hurricane season forecast. The following day, NOAA released thier season outlook. Both have the same dire warning of an “extremely active” season.

CSU is predicting 24 named storms with 12 of those being hurricanes. Five major hurricanes are expected, which means category 3 strength or stronger.

NOAA is forecasting 19 to 25 named storms; 7 to 11 of those being hurricanes with 3 to 6 being major hurricanes.

The forecasts includes the nine storms 2020 has already produced, including Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna and Isaias.

If the 2020 hurricane season does, in fact, churn out over 21 named storms, that would mean every name on the list would be used. After that, the Greek alphabet would be applied to name any additional storms.

List of 2020 hurricane season names
List of 2020 hurricane season names(WSFA 12 News)

The only time the Greek alphabet has ever been used was in 2005, during the busiest hurricane season on record. That year there were 28 named storms. Predictions for 2020′s two dozen storms would put it on track to be the second busiest season on record.

With nine named storms in the books, it’s already been a very active season, and this is before the season peaks around Sept. 10.

Average number of tropical storms and hurricanes
Average number of tropical storms and hurricanes(National Hurricane Center)

This is the earliest date on record where storms have reached the “I” name. The 2020 storm development is running about two months ahead of schedule. Usually, the ninth named storm happens around Oct. 4.

Why a jump in the expected number of storms? According to CSU Meteorologist Philip Klotzbach, one reason is due to extremely warm waters. Currently, tropical waters are the fourth warmest on record.

An active West African monsoon, very weak vertical wind shear, and a low chance of El Niño conditions are also to thank for an extremely active season, according to Klotzbach.

The Tropics are expected to stay quiet for the next week until things begin to become active again.

Stay tuned to the First Alert Weather team for the latest.

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