There’s a potential for 10 hurricanes this 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is above average for the season.
Forecasters are predicting up to 19 named storms sporting 39 miles per hour winds or higher, of which 10 could become hurricanes.
The above-normal season is expected by forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30. Of course, hurricanes aren’t bound by calendars, so it’s important to stay weather aware and be prepared. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that of the 13 to 19 named storms, six to 10 could become hurricanes. Of those, three to six of the hurricanes are expected to qualify as major hurricanes, with winds of 111 mph or higher.
An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, and of those, three are major hurricanes.
“As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement. “Just as in years past, NOAA experts will stay ahead of developing hurricanes and tropical storms and provide the forecasts and warnings we depend on to stay safe.”
So, what’s causing the increase?
The Climate Prediction Center said the above-normal amount is due to a combination of several climate factors.
For one, there will not be an El Nino present to suppress hurricane activity. Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, along with reduced winds, increases the chances.
“NOAA’s analysis of current and seasonal atmospheric conditions reveals a recipe for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator, in a statement. “Our skilled forecasters, coupled with upgrades to our computer models and observing technologies, will provide accurate and timely forecasts to protect life and property.”
As with every hurricane season, the need to be prepared is critically important.
“Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from COVID-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters and more. With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now,” said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA, in a statement. “Natural disasters won’t wait, so I encourage you to keep COVID-19 in mind when revising or making your plan for you and your loved ones, and don’t forget your pets. An easy way to start is to download the FEMA app today.”
Prepare for hurricanes today. Start with this list from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
• Know your hurricane risk: Find out how rain, wind, water could happen where you live so you can start preparing now.
• Make an emergency plan: Don’t forget a plan for the office, kids’ daycare, and anywhere you frequent.
• Gather supplies: Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, cloth face coverings, pet supplies in your go-bag or car trunk.
• Know your evacuation zone: Learn your evacuation routes, practice with household, pets, and identify where you will stay.
• Recognize warnings and alerts: Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service
• Review essential documents: Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents like ID are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure password-protected digital space.
• Strengthen your home: Declutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, consider hurricane shutters.
• Get tech ready: Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.
• Help your neighborhood: Check with those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others
Learn more ways to be better prepared on the websites for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA , and the American Red Cross.