This year’s hurricane season could be “extremely active,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The NOAA updated its earlier seasonal forecast to include more storms, saying the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season “has the potential to be one of the busiest on record.”
In the new forecast, NOAA is predicting 19 to 25 named storms, seven to 11 of which will be classified as hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater). Major hurricanes have winds of 111 mph or greater, and NOAA said there’s a possibility we’ll see three to six of them this season.
Typically, there are only two named storms by early August, according to NOAA and an average of 12 per season.
The new forecast is based on the storms NOAA has already tracked this season, which started in June. The original outlook was created in May.
There’s an 85% chance of 2020’s Atlantic hurricane season being more active than usual. The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index measures the strength and duration of named storms.
“This year, we expect more, stronger, and longer-lived storms than average, and our predicted ACE range extends well above NOAA’s threshold for an extremely active season,” said Dr. Gerry Bell, with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, in a statement.
As these are forecasts and not certainties, NOAA says there’s also a 10% chance of a typical hurricane season, and a 5% chance of it being below average.
Your everyday thunderstorm doesn’t typically warrant a name. To get a moniker, it has to have winds of 39 miles per hour or greater. There have already been nine named storms this year, including the recent Hurricane Isaias, which hit the Bahamas and the U.S.