May 27, 2020 | Hurricane
The U.S. experienced two very active hurricane seasons in 2018 and 2019, which produced historical storms like hurricane Dorian, Michael and Florence. Hurricane Dorian resulted in losses estimated between 500 million and 1.6 billion. As we enter into the 2020 hurricane season, people are eager for the annual predictions released by reputable weather sources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Colorado State University, AccuWeather and Tropical Storm Risk.
2020 brings a unique situation to hurricane season as many communities are in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic. Hurricanes in conjunction with COVID-19 could mean fewer government resources available, emergency response complications, shelter capacity issues and more. This means being prepared is as important as ever. In addition to your standard emergency preparedness kit, you should include items such as extra facemasks, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and soap. COVID-19 social distancing and other CDC guidance may impact the plan you had in place, so be sure to revise your emergency plan as needed.
Keep in mind, hurricane season predictions are not always accurate. Below are this year’s predictions as well as a better understanding of the grey area between predictions and the reality of hurricane season.
Average Hurricane Seasons usually consist of 12 named storms, six of which form hurricanes and three of which become major hurricanes.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The NOAA reports they are expecting a 60% chance of an above-normal hurricane season, predicting 13 to 19 named storms, six to 10 of which could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5 with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater).
Colorado State University (CSU)
CSU, who is among the nation’s top forecasters for hurricane season, is predicting numbers significantly above normal. Specifically, the team at CSU is predicting 16 named tropical storms, eight of which will become hurricanes. Of the eight predicted hurricanes, four are expected to spin into major hurricanes. The average number of major hurricanes per year is 2.7.
The hurricane team at AccuWeather is predicting the 2020 season to consist of 14 to 20 tropical storms. Of those storms, seven to 11 are forecast to become hurricanes and four to six are forecast to become major hurricanes.
Tropical Storm Risk (TSR)
TSR is also calling for an above normal storm season. TSR is predicting 16 tropical storms, with eight becoming hurricanes and three of those are predicted to become intense hurricanes.
Predictions only mean so much when it comes to mother nature—there can always be fewer or more hurricanes than what is predicted. The predictions for hurricane season merely stand as a benchmark for understanding what the outcome may be based on statistics and are not meant to be taken as a fact or truth. As you can see above, many weather sources give ranges of activity because these predictions are not an exact science.
Deadly or dangerous hurricanes can and will continue to occur during any hurricane season, so it’s best to over prepare than to find yourself unprepared in the event of a storm. Check out our hurricane season preparedness guide for more tips on getting prepared this season.
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