US hurricane season: Six names, three hurricanes, two major

Written by Staff Writer The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to be less active, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). So far, the seasonal outlook shows six named storms…

US hurricane season: Six names, three hurricanes, two major

Written by Staff Writer

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to be less active, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). So far, the seasonal outlook shows six named storms of 74 or greater in the Atlantic basin, including three hurricanes and two major hurricanes. If these projections are accurate, they mark a significant decline from what was projected in May. At that time, a six-season average for the Atlantic hurricane season was 11 named storms, including seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

NOAA forecasters stress that the impacts from hurricane season come in different waves, with the peak in activity happening right around the middle of the season — August through November. During this time, with one week of the season left in the year, seven named storms are expected. During the peak season, three hurricanes reach peak intensity and two of these were major hurricanes.

Historically, the prime years of the hurricane season have been August through November. NOAA predicts a similar scenario for this year, particularly with a weakening El Niño occurring. The 2016 hurricane season also kicked off with a weak El Niño, which is usually associated with warmer-than-average tropical Atlantic waters, helping fuel stronger storms. This year, the Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are as warm as they have been in nearly 40 years, and the warm sea surface temperatures appear to be about equal to that seen during the previous El Niño years of 2007 and 2007-2010.

Projections show six named storms of 74 or greater, including three hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Credit: NOAA

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