JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This is a pretty dire report from the researchers at Colorado State University, especially for their April forecast for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
Typically, their April numbers are some of their lower forecast numbers, but the conditions for a very active Atlantic hurricane season are all there, principally, a possible weak La Niña event developing, warmer than normal Atlantic Ocean temperatures over the Main Development Region (MDR) and a weaker than normal wind shear profile over the Caribbean Sea are the main negatives. These are all textbook predictors for an active hurricane season.
The only signal they see that would oppose an active season would be slightly cooler than normal North Atlantic water temperatures. Cooler water up north tends to allow for a stronger high pressure system across the entire Atlantic Ocean, which in turn would make tropical storms (low pressure areas) harder to form.
The most disturbing part of their research is showing weaker upper-level wind shear across the Caribbean, Western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. They acknowledge this by increasing the probabilities of the coastline of the Southeast United States being impacted by a hurricane to levels well above the historical averages.
In other words, there is a well above average expectation of a hurricane impacting the United States, in particular along the Gulf Coast and Florida.
|1981-2010 average seasonal averages||2020 April forecast|
|Named storms (12)||16|
|Named storm days (59)||80|
|Hurricane days (24)||35|
|Major hurricanes (3)||4|
|Major hurricane days (6)||9|
|Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (106)||150|
|Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) (116%)||160|
Probabilities for at least one major hurricane to make landfall
|Continental United States||52% (once every other year)||69%|
|U.S. East Coast (including Florida)||31% (once every three years)||45%|
|Gulf of Mexico||30% (once every three years)||44%|
|Caribbean Region||42% (less than once every other year)||58%|
This is their first big look at the upcoming season, they will adjust for their main season forecast, which will be released on Thursday, June 4, 2020.