Atlantic Hurricane Season 2020: We’re just getting started
NOAA calls for a highly active season
With the peak of the hurricane season still imminent, we have already seen Hurricane Isaias climb its way up the East Coast, with a high likelihood that we will see the likes of Nana, Paulette and Sally and the rest of the alphabetic names. There has been a total of ten named storms so far, two of which reached hurricane status, and both making landfall with Hurricane Hanna hitting Texas and Hurricane Isaias hitting North Carolina. NOAA calls for a highly active season with an estimated 19-25 named storms in total, 7-11 being hurricanes, 3-6 being major hurricanes, with an 85% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season overall. In the case that over 21 named storms do occur, names are taken from the Greek alphabet.
An above average season is the consensus among academic and industry groups issuing updated hurricane forecasts and has been predicted since before the season began. August is expected to end busy with frequent storm activity and continue to be significantly active leading into the mid-September peak of the hurricane season.
Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are favorable for hurricane development, with warmer-than-average ocean temperatures and advantageous wind patterns taking effect with limited storm suppressing factors such as vertical wind shear.
Currently our ENSO state, or El Niño-Southern Oscillation state, is neutral, however we are in a La Niña Watch. Conditions put us at a 50-55% chance of a La Niña developing in the fall, which would further support potential storms by weakening the already reduced Atlantic wind shear further (which aids in hurricane development).
The current season and remaining NOAA forecast activity are summarized below: