The last thing we need is a hurricane right now. But researchers are predicting 4 major hurricanes in the Atlantic this year.
According to a report by the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU), the Atlantic Ocean is projected to experience "above-normal" hurricane activity this season.
In a typical hurricane season (June–November), the Atlantic will see 12 "named" tropical storms, with half of those becoming actual hurricanes and only 3 becoming major.
This year, early April projections are showing that the Atlantic will likely experience 16 named storms total, with 8 becoming hurricanes and 4 becoming major hurricanes. While more than normal, this is still better than last year's total (18 storms—6 hurricanes, 3 major), though it seems that the projected severity of storms is higher for 2020.
In fact, the probability for a major hurricane (category 3,4, or 5) making landfall on the entire continental U.S. coastline in 2020 is 69 percent, while the East Coast as a whole (including Florida) is 45 percent.
Landfall probabilities differ by state, but according to CSU's data, Virginia has an 11 percent chance of having a hurricane make landfall, while Maryland has just a 2 percent chance. The probability of a major hurricane making landfall is currently set at less than 1 percent for both states.
Courtesy of CSU
That's fairly good news for the DMV. Meanwhile, the state with the highest probability is Florida (of course) with 68 percent, followed by Texas at 47 percent.
This year's storms have already been named. Per the National Hurricane Center, tropical cyclones in the Atlantic during 2020 will be named as follows:
The full report regarding the upcoming hurricane season (called "Extended Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and Landfall Strike Probability for 2020") is 35 pages long. But here's the summary:
"We anticipate that the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have above-normal activity. Current warm neutral ENSO conditions appear likely to transition to cool neutral ENSO or potentially even weak La Niña conditions by this summer/fall. Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic are somewhat above normal. Our Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation index is below its long-term average; however, most of the tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal. We anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean. 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."
You can read the whole thing here.
It's important to note that these are just projections as of April; another report will be issued in June with updated numbers.
Though all of us are certainly focusing on other things right now (like avoiding catching the coronavirus), it's not a bad idea to think ahead and start preparing for storm season now.
What do you think? Do you have any tips for preparing for hurricane season? Do you think we'll see above-normal activity like they predict? Tell us in the comments!