2020 Atlantic hurricane season has broken records, NOAA now says there may be more storms than names
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Nine named storms already in the books have broken records for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, but government forecasters said Thursday that even stormier conditions are on the horizon that could push the limit on traditional storm names.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in its updated hurricane season outlook that conditions exist for what could be one of the busiest on record. "We've never forecast up to 25 named storms, so this is the first time," said Gerry Bell, the lead hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. 2020 HURRICANE SEASON LABELED 'EXTREMELY ACTIVE' IN COLORADO STATE FORECAST, MAY BE BUSIEST SINCE YEAR OF KATRINA NOAA forecasters are now calling for up to 25 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher; of those, 7 to 10 could become hurricanes. Among those hurricanes, three to six will be major, classified as Category 3, 4, and 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher. These numbers include the nine storms that have already formed, which were seven tropical storms and two hurricanes. That's far above an average year. Based on 1981 to 2010 data, that is 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. The updated forecast also increased the chance of an above-average hurricane season from 60% to 85%, more than the agency's May forecast. Forecasters said Thursday that current oceanic and atmospheric conditions are why an "extremely active" hurricane season is possible. The combination of warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon are behind…