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CSU’s hurricane forecast predicts 20 named storms

The prediction also calls 9 hurricanes, including 4 with Category 3 or higher strength

The July update of the long term hurricane forecast raises the number of storms and hurricanes we expect to see.
The July update of the long term hurricane forecast raises the number of storms and hurricanes we expect to see.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Colorado State University (CSU) released its July update to the university’s long-term hurricane season forecast, raising the number of storms and hurricanes they expect for the 2020 season.

The original prediction from CSU already called for an above-average hurricane season, but the July update raises the number of named storms from 16 to 20 (keep in mind they’ve already named five so far), and the number of those that become hurricanes from eight to nine. The prediction now calls for four instead of three of those hurricanes to reach Category Three or higher strength.

This forecast includes Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly and Edouard, which have already formed this season.

The CSU forecast also attempts to calculate the probability of at least one major hurricane making landfall, and that forecast is divided up by region:

  • Chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the entire continental coastline of the US: 69% (Average is 52%)
  • Chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the US East Coast plus the entire coastline (including panhandle) of Florida: 45% (Average 31%.)
  • Chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas: 44%. (Average, 30%.)

Multiple 2020 hurricane season outlooks have been released and they are trending toward an active year. They’re forecasting an above-average -- more than six -- hurricanes this season, which begins June 1.

Some are even calling for an "extremely active" season -- more than nine hurricanes.

There are over a dozen forecasts published. And even though the official forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration won't come until May 21, a strong consensus in the forecasts across the industry indicates the US is in for an active season.

"In general, the consensus between seasonal hurricane forecasts this year is greater than it has been the past few years," says Phil Klotzbach, research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University

Typically, these early forecasts vary a little bit more.

This year the average forecast -- for all 13 groups that have submitted to Seasonal Hurricane Predictions -- is eight hurricanes and 17 named storms.

An average season sees six hurricanes and 12 named storms..


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