NOAA: 2020 hurricane season could be most active ever

NOAA: 2020 hurricane season could be most active ever
The 2020 hurricane season, already off to a break-neck breakneck pace, could be the most active in history, forecasters said Thursday. (NOAA/NOAA)

The 2020 hurricane season, already off to a breakneck pace, could be the most active in history, forecasters said Thursday. 

So far this season, there have been nine named storms. Usually by the first week of August, there are two, the forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said. The ninth named storm usually forms after the first week of October, officials said.

Content Continues Below

The updated outlook, which includes the nine storms to date, forecasts a possible 25 named storms, with 11 of those becoming hurricanes, and of those, six classified as major hurricanes. The average season has 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes and three of those become major hurricanes.

"This is one of the most active seasonal forecasts that NOAA has produced in its 22-year history of hurricane outlooks," U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

Warmer than average Atlantic and Caribbean waters, reduced vertical winds and weaker Atlantic trade winds are some reasons for the active season. 

The possibility of conditions for a La Nina effect forming later in the season is also expected. This can weaken wind shear and allow storms to develop with greater intensity. 

Colorado State University also released an updated forecast that predicts 24 named storms, 12 of which could be hurricanes and five of those being major hurricanes, WFTV reported. Their forecast also included the nine storms already formed this season.

“What is big is forecasting 10 additional hurricanes after Aug. 5,” Colorado State research scientist Philip Klotzbach told the Tampa Bay Times. “This is the most named storms and hurricanes we’ve ever forecast in an outlook.”

The list of storm names only includes 21 entries (the next being Josephine). If the season were stretched beyond that, letters from the Greek alphabet would be used. The last time a hurricane season was active enough to use Greek names for storms was 2005, which is considered the most active season in history, with 31 named storms