Government experts updated their predictions for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season yesterday, increasing their projections for total named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes.
The announcement from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials is the second such announcement by a major hurricane forecaster in as many days. NOAA now predicts the 2020 season will see 19-25 named storms, including 7-11 hurricanes and between three to six major hurricanes with winds of at least 111mph. “We’ve never forecast up to 25 storms,” Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a telephone briefing with reporters. “So this is the first time.” NOAA’s predictions all include the nine storms that have already occurred this year, but in a normal year, about 90% of storm activity comes after August 6, according to the AP. “Everything looks ready to be a pretty huge year,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy told the AP. McNoldy also said it’s likely that there will be more storms than names.
If officials are forced to use the Greek alphabet to name storms, it will be just the second time this has occurred, the other being in 2005, which included five hurricanes (Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma) so destructive their names have been retired from future use.