Storm season record-holder: Likely that 2020 will be the least active in 20 years

A remarkable 2018 Atlantic hurricane season in which 17 named storms grew to become hurricanes has turned out to be an anomaly, with forecasts putting the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season on pace to be…

Storm season record-holder: Likely that 2020 will be the least active in 20 years

A remarkable 2018 Atlantic hurricane season in which 17 named storms grew to become hurricanes has turned out to be an anomaly, with forecasts putting the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season on pace to be the least active in 20 years.

According to a Sept. 22 update from the Colorado State University Climate Forecast Center, the cyclonic Atlantic storms that smashed the record for most powerful hurricanes and other catastrophic storms in history weren’t actually in the region where superstorms Katrina and Sandy struck in 2011.

Still, experts at Colorado State are confident the next Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, 2020, will produce nine named storms, of which one will turn into a hurricane. One storm could become a major hurricane, defined as Category 3 or greater with winds of at least 111 mph.

And in a second update in the coming weeks, the center will begin giving longer-range storm forecasts in response to recent studies of Atlantic climate patterns, although the October forecast will largely consider existing conditions for the winter, including heavy-rain storms in the South and early-spring melt-off in the tropics.

Potential for the following forecast to become outdated will be a tendency for more than five named storms to strengthen into hurricanes in mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. However, it will be difficult to predict how likely a hurricane or storm will be to make landfall near these areas, since it has been such a busy season, Colorado State researchers said.

In the US, the nation’s “hurricane wind-biting season” is from June 1 to Nov. 30 and sees 17 named storms, including 10 hurricanes, with two major hurricanes that manage to strike land. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are now predicting seven named storms, including three hurricanes, this season. It’s also a good time to prepare.

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