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Data Continues to Suggest This Will be An Active Hurricane Season

Colorado State University (CSU) has updated their hurricane season forecast Tuesday morning, raising the number of tropical storms and hurricanes from their previous forecast updates released in April and June.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season has already been historic, with both the third and fifth-named storms developing on the earliest known recorded dates. Tropical Storm Arthur formed June 1 and Tropical Storm Edouard developed Sunday. CSU’s original prediction already called for an above-normal hurricane season, but this update includes a slight increase in storm frequency.

The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team, lead by Dr. Philip Klotzbach, is now predicting 20 named storms for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Of those, researchers expect nine to become hurricanes and four to reach major hurricane strength with sustained winds greater than 110 mph (177 km/h). This revamped forecast includes Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, and Edouard, which have already formed this season.

CSU cautions that there still remains an above-average risk (69%) of a major hurricane making landfall along the entire continental coastline of the United States. On average, there is a 52% chance. The full report by the team also states that there is a 45% chance (average 31%) that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the US East Coast plus the entire coastline, including the panhandle, of Florida. Finally, there is a 44% likelihood (average 30%) that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas.

Multiple meteorological agencies have released their 2020 Hurricane Season outlooks with a few already updating their forecasts a second time to trend higher. A total of 13 groups have submitted their individual hurricane season forecast to Seasonal Hurricane Predictions. This year the average forecast calls for 17 named storms, of which eight are projected to reach hurricane strength. There is already a strong consensus across the industry which indicates the United States is in for an active hurricane season.

CSU’s report reminds coastal residents that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. Residents should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

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Dr. Athena Masson