MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Researchers from Colorado State University have released an updated hurricane season forecast for the 2020 hurricane season earlier today.
The seasonal forecast continues to call for an above average hurricane season in terms of the total number of storms.
The updated forecast from Colorado State indicated that “sea surface temperatures averaged across most of the tropical Atlantic and subtropical Atlantic are somewhat above normal. We anticipate an above-normal probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean”.
The previous forecast issued in early April called for sixteen named storms, eight hurricanes, and four major hurricanes.
The latest forecast update now calls for 20 named storms, 9 of which become hurricanes, and 4 of those are forecast to become major hurricanes.
Researchers stated that “information obtained through June 2020 indicates that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will have activity above the 1981-2010 average. Tropical Storms Arthur, Bertha Cristobal, Dolly and Edouard have formed in the Atlantic as of July 6th. We estimate that 2020 will have an additional 9 hurricanes, 15 named storms, 4 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes. "
The forecast also continues to calls for a higher chance of landfall in South and North Carolina. Traditionally, the chance of landfall is 29% in North Carolina and 18% in South Carolina. The forecast is calling for higher chances of landfall during the upcoming season with South Carolina having a 27% chance of landfall and North Carolina with a 42% chance of landfall.
The main reason behind the increased forecast for the season continues to be above normal water temperatures and favorable atmospheric conditions across most of the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
An average hurricane season typically produces 12 named storms. Six of those typically become hurricanes and of those, three typically become major hurricanes, category 3 or higher.
There is no correlation between the number of storms or hurricanes that form and landfalls in the U.S. A quiet season can still produce a strong hurricane that makes landfall in the US. That’s why residents should prepare each year, no matter the forecast.