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July 7 Update: There’s an increase in the 2020 hurricane season forecast

Already 5 names storms through July helps researchers to adjust their storm forecast

New July 2020 Hurricane Forecast
New July 2020 Hurricane Forecast

HOUSTON – Today, Colorado State University hurricane researchers led by hurricane expert, Dr. Phil Klotzbach, have increased their 2020 hurricane forecast to the following:

The new updated July hurricane forecast for 2020
The new updated July hurricane forecast for 2020

We have already had five named storms as of the Fourth of July weekend, so according to the new updated hurricane forecast, we could see an additional 15 named storms before the end of the season!

Here are some of the reasons for the increase in the forecast:

Atlantic ocean waters remain very warm this summer

Warmer than average ocean water serves as a good fuel for lower pressure, more moisture available to develop into thunderstorms and a generally unstable atmosphere.

One of the fuels for an active hurricane season is warmer than average Atlantic Ocean water
One of the fuels for an active hurricane season is warmer than average Atlantic Ocean water

Active Western Africa monsoon season:

The current forecast for the monsoonal season across Western Africa is trending to be a wetter (more active) season than usual. That means more tropical wave development potential for the rest of the summer. The graphic below shows the darker green areas that are likely going to have a potential to have higher than average number of tropical waves:

This summer, there is a higher chance for tropical waves to develop off Western Africa
This summer, there is a higher chance for tropical waves to develop off Western Africa

El Niño forecast for 2020 summer/fall remains very low:

For the rest of this summer and into the fall, the forecast is calling for a very low chance of the global pattern to switch from a La Niña pattern, which we are currently in, to change to an El Niño pattern. These are important because a generally strong La Niña pattern lends itself to a more active tropical season by history. Conversely, an El Niño pattern generally is seen during less active tropical seasons.

Pacific sea surface temperatures remain cooler than average for this summer
Pacific sea surface temperatures remain cooler than average for this summer

The bottom line is regardless of how many storms are named, as we always say, it only takes one to make it a bad hurricane season if you’re the one getting hit by one! We’ll continue to see more updates to the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane seasonal forecast this August as well. Stay tuned for updates and make sure you have our Hurricane Headquarters page bookmarked on your phone and computer browser!


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