What to Expect for the 2020 Hurricane Season

By Mallory Nicholls.

The 2020 hurricane season is fast approaching and this year, it is expected to be a busy one.

The National Hurricane Center’s outlook shows above average numbers with 13 to 19 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes. What exactly goes into a tropical season outlook and why is this year forecast to be more active?

There are three main ingredients that fuel tropical development: moisture, light wind, and sea surface temperatures of at least 80 degrees.

This year, all of these factors will be in abundance. We already have sea surface temperatures around 80 degrees in the southern Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. Warm water leads to large evaporation rates, which helps supply moisture necessary for tropical development.

The outlook also shows that we’re entering a La Nina pattern. In this pattern, wind weakens over the Atlantic. With less wind available to tear apart storms, more activity is likely.

Dr. Michael Brennan, Senior Hurricane specialist for the National Hurricane Center, says that regardless of what the seasonal forecast says, there’s no way to know where a storm will form or where it will go, so the risk for any one individual storm from one season to the next really doesn’t change.

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