Top climate experts in the US are forecasting above-average activity for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1 but can always start early.
Here are some of the factors that go into such predictions and what you need to know.
What a year, Let’s see… We have the coronavirus pandemic, a forecast of an above-average tornado season (which is already happening for April), and now the predictions of an above-average hurricane season has come our way.
I don’t know about you, but I need a drink. Either that or it might be time to look into some alcohol detox capsules. Coping methods aside, there has been a lot of depressing news in a single year for us in 2020!
Let’s find out what the experts have to say.
When it comes to predicting hurricane seasons, everyone tends to listen to the experts at Colorado State University. The 2020 forecast has arrived and isn’t exactly cheery news.
It includes roughly double the average of major hurricanes and a 25% increase in hurricanes and tropical storms.
The 2020 Colorado State University hurricane season forecast is as follows:
A paleoclimatologist is someone who studies past climates. Paleoclimatologist Dr. Joanne Muller from Florida Gulf Coast University studies hurricanes and compares predictions, as well as recent hurricanes, to what has come before going back centuries.
“Winds that are moving in opposition to each other in the atmosphere and also moving at different speeds and because hurricanes develop vertically, they don’t like wind shear,” Dr. Muller explains.
“Climate change. We have atmospheric warming and so this affects the ocean’s temperature.”
Water temperature is running warmer than average in the Gulf of Mexico. However, there are numerous other factors that could affect whether a tropical system can form and sustain itself.
The Atlantic hurricane season “officially” begins on June 1 and lasts until November 30. However, these dates aren’t set in stone. Sometimes the hurricane season starts early, as it did last year. The first system formed on May 20, 2019.
Plus, 2019 was the fourth consecutive year of above-average activity. There were 18 total storms and 3 major hurricanes. A major hurricane is any hurricane of Category 3 or higher.