National Weather Service predicts above-normal Atlantic hurricane season

NOAA predicts there will be between 13 and 19 named storms this year. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
NOAA predicts there will be between 13 and 19 named storms this year. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

May 21 (UPI) -- National Weather Service forecasters warned of an above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season Thursday, predicting 13 to 19 named storms this year.

El Nino Southern Oscillation conditions in the Atlantic this year likely won't be strong enough to suppress hurricane activity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center said.


Warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures, reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical trade winds and an enhanced African monsoon season will also fuel hurricane season.

"NOAA's analysis of current and seasonal atmospheric conditions reveals a recipe for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year," said Neil Jacobs, acting NOAA administrator. "Our skilled forecasters, coupled with upgrades to our computer models and observing technologies, will provide accurate and timely forecasts to protect life and property."

NOAA said there's a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 30 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.

Of the 13 to 19 anticipated named storms this year, NOAA predicts six to 10 of them to become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes.

A typical hurricane season produces 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.


The NOAA predictions fall in line with forecasts by Colorado State University and AccuWeather scientists.

The Atlantic has already had its first tropical storm of the season -- Arthur -- which brought heavy rain and strong winds to the North Carolina coast. The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1.

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