NOAA Updates 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast


Beckley, WV (WVNS) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has updated their forecast for the ‘2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season’. NOAA was already forecasting the season would be 60-percent above average with 13-19 named storms, 6-10 Hurricanes, and 3-6 Major Hurricanes (Category 3 or greater). This was part of their initial forecast released on May 21, 2020 (below).

NOAA’s original forecast for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season (Valid May 21st, 2020)

On Aug. 6, 2020, just ahead of the climatological peak of hurricane season, NOAA released their updated forecast for the Atlantic Basin. Confidence has increased that an above-normal season will take place, rising from 60-percent to 85-percent. Also on the rise are the number of named storms and hurricanes expected to form this year. Named storms which formed prior to the release of this forecast are included in the forecast totals:

2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season names from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

NOAA is expecting a TOTAL of 19-25 named storms, taking into account we have already seen 9 named storms this hurricane season, NOAA is expecting to see 10-16 more named storms form in the Atlantic Basin.

NOAA’s updated forecast for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season (Valid August 6th, 2020)

To put this forecast in perspective, there are only 21 names available each year to name storms with. NOAA is forecasting up to 25 named storms in the Atlantic this year, meaning there might be more storms than there are names for. If we go past Wilfred, new storms will start to be named using the Greek alphabet!

NOAA isn’t the only organization forecasting an active hurricane season either. Researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) led by Dr. Phillip Klotzbach also released their updated forecast for the ‘2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season’ on Aug. 5, 2020. They too are forecasting an above average season with 24 named storms, 12 Hurricanes, and 5 Major Hurricanes (below).

For many, these forecasts remind them of the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season which saw a record high 28 named storms, including one of the costliest natural disasters in the history of the United States, Hurricane Katrina. For now, the tropics are quiet, but they will need to be watched closely in the coming weeks.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated there are 24 names available for each hurricane season, this has been corrected to state 21 names.

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