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Colorado State researchers predict above-average hurricane season

The team is predicting 16 named storms in 2020.
Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project via Getty Images
In this NASA/NOAA handout image, NOAA's GOES satellite shows Hurricane Irma (C) in the Caribbean Sea, Tropical Storm Jose (R) in the Atlantic Ocean and Tropical Storm Katia in the Gulf of Mexico taken at 15:45 UTC on September 08, 2017.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Colorado State University released its first 2020 Atlantic hurricane seasonal outlook Thursday. The forecast is calling for an above-average hurricane season.

Dr. Phil Klotzbach and his team is predicting 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. 

On average, the Atlantic basin had 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes between 1981 and 2010.

According to the report, "We anticipate that the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have above-normal activity."

The researchers expect El Niño to phase out into a more neutral phase or even La Niña. El Niño conditions usually decrease the chance of tropical systems in the Atlantic.

La Niña on the other hand, leads to less vertical wind shear and this usually leads to more Atlantic tropical activity.

The report also stated, "Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic are somewhat above normal." This would also lead to a possible increase in tropical activity.

"We anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean," according the forecast.

According to the Colorado State researchers, "As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted."

Credit: WLTX

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1.