Early predictions by the Colorado State University and NOAA for this years Atlantic hurricane season show above average numbers, and its looking like they are right.
In fact, the 2020 NOAA forecast calls for a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes.
The Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project team has updated their prediction the first week of June to 19 named storms in 2020. Researchers expect nine to become hurricanes and four to reach major hurricane strength. This is a slight increase from the early April prediction of 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes.
The latest prediction from CSU just came out July 7th and is now calling for 20 named storms, 9 of which become hurricanes, 4 of which become major hurricanes. Compare that to the average number of named storms (12), hurricanes (6), and major hurricanes (3).
Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly and Edouard have already formed this season. In fact, we are almost halfway to our average of yearly named storms, and it is only the first week of July! This is in fact a record for the earliest 5th named storm since records have been kept.
The previous record was held in 2005 with Emily, which occurred on July 12. 2005. 2005 also holds the record for the most active hurricane season on record in the Atlantic Hurricane basin, with 28 named storms.
CSU is also forecasting the chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the entire continental coastline of the US as 69%. Compare that to the average of 52%.
The chance that at least one major hurricane making landfall along the US East Coast plus the entire coastline of Florida is 45%. The average chance is 31%.
Finally, the chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas is 44%, much higher than the average of 30%.
CSU attributes warmer than average waters in the subtropical Atlantic Ocean, slightly warmer than average waters in the tropical Atlantic as reasons for the active forecast. Furthermore, a possible transition from a neutral El Nino to a La Nina late this summer would promote an active season.
We at Fox 4 will continuously inform you of any developments in the tropics and will keep you ahead of the storm. Remember, no matter what predictions may be, it only takes one storm to make it a busy season here in Southwest Florida.