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BREAKING: NOAA Expects Above Average Hurricane Season

21 May 2020, 9:23 am

On Thursday morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released it’s outlook for the 2020 hurricane season. In combination with scientists at the Climate Prediction Center and the National Hurricane Center, the outlook for this year calls for a near to above average season for number of tropical cyclones.

Compared to an “average” season where there are 12 named storms, 6 of which become hurricanes, and 3 of those which become major hurricanes (category 3 or higher), this season’s outlook calls for a above normal season with 13 – 19 named storms, 6 -10 of which will become hurricanes, and 3 – 6 of which could become major hurricanes. 

The main factors contributing to the outlook are ENSO neutral conditions or the development of La Nina, an unusual cooling of Pacific waters. A La Nina pattern will reduce wind shear, favoring Atlantic tropical development, and potentially a more active season.

“The combination of several climate factors is driving the strong likelihood for above-normal activity in the Atlantic this year. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Nina, meaning there will not be an El Nino present to suppress hurricane activity. Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995.” –NOAA

Regardless of the forecast, NOAA and WeatherNation want to remind you that “it only takes one”.  No matter what the forecast calls for, it is so important to be prepared for the season ahead. Even if just one storm makes landfall where you are it will be “a bad season” for you. Always take steps to prepare for the worst case scenario.

Be sure to join WeatherNation all next week for Hurricane Prep Week. From May 25 – 31, WeatherNation will air special stories to get you ‘hurricane ready’, from what to put in your hurricane supply kit, to understand how a hurricane forms, to the impacts tropical systems can bring.


NOAA, NWS Honolulu and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center have also posted their hurricane outlook for the central Pacific basin. They are predicting that this hurricane season will be near or below normal with the amount of Tropical Cyclones to develop, with 2-6 anticipated. An “average” season has 4 or 5 tropical cyclones. With higher than normal uncertainty in the forecast later in the year, they recommend preparing as soon as possible for the season.

For more information on Hawaii’s wet and dry season and how to be prepared for this hurricane season, you can follow this link to the NWS Honolulu and CPHC Facebook page.

About the author
Mace was born and raised in Minnesota, where his intrigue for weather and broadcasting grew at a young age. His 30 years in broadcasting have taken him all across the Midwest and in the South. During high school and college, Mace first worked at a number of radio stations which helped pay tuition bills and get him ready for a career in television. His first TV Meteorology job was in Wausau, WI, fo... Load Morellowed by stops in Grand Rapids, MI, Fort Myers, FL, Tampa, FL, Cedar Rapids, IA and then across the country on WeatherNation. Mace is one of our Digital Meteorologists, posting weather stories on our website and social media accounts.

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