Hurricane researchers from Colorado State University (CSU) have released their initial forecast for the upcoming 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. They are predicting an ‘above average’ number of tropical storms and hurricanes for the season that runs from June 1st to November 30th. This is the 37th year CSU researchers have made a hurricane season forecast.
Their predictions include a total of 16 named storms, of which 8 are forecast to become hurricanes. Four of those 8 hurricanes are predicted to major hurricanes. A major hurricane is one that is of at least Category 3 strength with sustained winds of at least 111 mph.
In an average season there are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.
The forecast also calls for a 44% chance of a strike along the Gulf of Mexico coast from the Florida panhandle to Brownsville, TX. That’s above the long term average over the last century of 31%.
While the chance of landfall at any given point is low from season to season, researchers point out that residents who live along the coast should always be prepared. “Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them,” researchers Philip Klotzbach, Michael M. Bell and Jhordanne Jones wrote in their report.
Updated forecasts will be released by the Colorado State research team on June 4, July 7 and August 6. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will release their forecast for upcoming Atlantic hurricane season in May.