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An above average activity expected for the 2020 hurricane season


Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2020, citing the likely absence of El Niņo as a primary factor. Tropical and subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are currently warmer than their long-term average values and are consequently also considered a factor favoring an active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

The tropical Pacific currently has warm neutral ENSO (El Niņo-Southern Oscillation) conditions; that is, the waters are slightly warmer than normal in the eastern and central tropical Pacific. CSU currently anticipates that these waters are likely to cool relative to their long-term averages over the next several months. Consequently, they do not anticipate El Niņo for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. El Niņo tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form.

The tropical Atlantic is somewhat warmer than normal right now. Warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic provide more fuel for tropical cyclone formation and intensification. They are also associated with a more unstable atmosphere as well as moister air, both of which favor organized thunderstorm activity that is necessary for hurricane development.

 

 

ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2019

Forecast Parameter and 1981-2010

Average (in parentheses)

Issue Date 2 April 2020

Named Storms (NS) (12.1)

16

Hurricanes (H) (6.4)

8

Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.7)

4

 

By: CSU University Communications Staff