Hurricane 2020 Predictions
Tropical Storm Outlook and Forecast
Believe it or not, hurricane season is just around the corner. In any given calendar year, the tropical storm season runs from approximately June 1 through November 30 in the Atlantic Ocean, Eastern U.S., and the Caribbean.
Now is the time to make preparations for the 2020 season. When it comes to a hurricane, don't "wing it." The flooding rains, behemoth storm surges, and powerful winds can surprise even the most experienced hurricane veteran.
Storms are unpredictable, be sure to follow our severe weather updates for up-to-date alerts from the nation's top weather and news outlets, or scroll to the bottom of this article for a live feed.
2019 Season in Review
First, let's review what transpired last year. The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season was slightly above average, producing a total of 18 named storms, including 6 hurricanes. The major storms included Hurrican Dorian and Tropical Storm Imelda.
Hurricane Dorian made landfall near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina as a Category 1 storm in September 2019. Prior to that, it inflicted massive damage on the Bahamas, becoming the most intense storm to ever strike that island nation. Overall, the hurricane caused $4.8 billion in damage and 84 fatalities.
Tropical Storm Imelda brought major flooding to Louisiana and Southeast Texas during mid-September 2019, causing $5 billion in damage and 6 fatalities. Read a full recap of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Hurricane Forecast for 2020
UPDATED 8/5/2020: The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is expected to be above normal in terms of activity. Based on water temperatures, wind conditions, and past data, experts predict 24 named tropical storms, 12 of which will be hurricanes and 5 of which will be major hurricanes.
A total of 45 days of hurricane activity are predicted over the course of the season, 11 of which will be major hurricane days. Overall, there is a 74 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will strike somewhere along the continental U.S. coastline. Read the full scientific forecast.
How Hurricanes Form
Atlantic hurricanes form based on a combination of warm ocean temperatures in the tropics and westward winds blowing from Africa.
- Westward winds cause the warm tropical water (80°F) to evaporate into the atmosphere, creating clouds and thunderstorms.
- The low pressure area caused by the rising warm air draws surrounding air, which in turn becomes warm and evaporates up.
- This cycle of air movement continues and builds into a powerful tropical storm system as long as there is warm surface air to feed it. If the storm system hits land or enters cooler waters, it will eventually lose steam and dissipate.
A tropical storm system moves through several stages in its development. The following chart outlines the different stages of severity from least damaging to most damaging.
|Severity||Wind Speed (mph)||Storm Surge (ft)|
The Bottom Line
Hurricane forecasts that take into account real-world conditions and past patterns can be a generally reliable guide in predicting the upcoming season. Still, it's never an exact science and anything can happen. Stay tuned for forecast updates, and remember to prepare for the storm, whether it comes or not.
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