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NOAA expects above average hurricane season

NOAA expects above average hurricane season
NOAA predicts an above average hurricane season.
Posted at 11:22 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 11:22:49-04

Each year around the end of May the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) comes out with their forecast for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane. Their analysis is complete and the numbers are out!

Hurricane season officially starts June first and both Accuweather and Colorado State University have already come out with their predictions for this season and both agree that this will be an above average hurricane season. an above average season. NOAA agrees and also predicts an above average season.

Their prediction 13-19 storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes, consisting of those with winds of Category 3 strength or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Compare that to an average season where 12 tropical storms form, 6 of which become hurricanes, and of those 2 to 3 become major hurricanes. They also predict a 60% chance for an above average season and only a 10% chance of a below average season.

The primary factors leading to the above-average hurricane season forecast are cooling water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific leading to lower upper level wind shear over the the Caribbean and Atlantic and warmer than average water temperatures in the Gulf and most of the Atlantic. Cooler Pacific waters lead to relaxed upper level winds over the tropical Atlantic, which allows storms to organize and develop into tropical storms and hurricanes, rather than being ripped apart. The warmer waters provide more oceanic heat content that the storms need to organize and strengthen.

It is important to remember that these are forecasts and are subject to change. All it takes is one storm to have a significant impact on your life and property. Regardless of the upcoming forecast, make sure you are prepared ahead of time and always know we will be keeping you informed of the latest developments during the season.

FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST ERIC STONE

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2020 STORM NAMES

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HURRICANE TERMS TO KNOW

Tropical Storm WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

Tropical Storm WARNING: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.

Hurricane WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.