Colorado State ups hurricane season prediction ‘extremely active’

CSU increases number of name storms expected by 4; raises number of major storms from 4 to 5

CSU now predicting and extremely active hurricane season this year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Based on the Atlantic hurricane season so far and predictions for the next few months, Colorado State University (CSU) revised its long-term forecast, raising the number of storms and hurricanes it expects for the 2020 season.

CSU’s original prediction called for an above-average hurricane season, but the update released Wednesday raises the number of named storms from 20 to 24 and the number of those that become hurricanes from nine to 12. The prediction now calls for five instead of four of those hurricanes to reach Category 3 or higher strength.

Keep in mind that Isaias was our ninth named storm of the year and we haven’t reached the peak of the season.

“We have increased our forecast and now call for an extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season,” CSU announced on its website.

CSU’s meteorologists explain that sea surface temperatures averages across the tropical Atlantic are much warmer than normal and vertical wind shear is well below average. Current cool neutral ENSO conditions may transition to weak La Niña conditions by later this summer. They anticipate an above-normal probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental U.S. coast and in the Caribbean.

Dr. Phillip Klotzbach, a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at CSU, explained the forecast in a series of tweets the different factors that contribute to the extremely active hurricane season:

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 began June 1 and runs through the end of November.

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

There are over a dozen forecasts published. An official forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gets updated Thursday, but a strong consensus already exists in the forecasts across the industry, indicating the U.S. 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,” Klotzbach said.

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.