Forecasters see above average 2020 Atlantic hurricane season


FILE PHOTO: Hurricane Dorian is shown from the International Space Station more than 200 miles above the earth as it churns in the north-western Caribbean near the United States mainland in this photo taken September 2, 2019. Christina Koch/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season could see a greater than average number of major hurricanes because of warmer seas and favorable weather patterns, forecasters from Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project said on Thursday.

Four major hurricanes packing winds of at least 111 miles per hour (179 km) are possible during the season that begins June 1, they said. There are typically 2.7 major hurricanes during an average season. A total of eight hurricanes are expected before the season ends on Nov. 30.

The Colorado State project, led by research scientist Phil Klotzbach, said as many as 16 tropical storms, four more than the average, are possible in the upcoming season.

The forecast is in line with one issued on March 25 by Accuweather, which said between two and four major hurricanes could be expected among 14 to 18 named tropical storms in the 2020 season.

There is a 69% probability that a major hurricane will strike the continental U.S. coastline during the 2020 season, according to the Colorado State forecasters. The average probability in the 20th century was 52%.

There is a 45% chance of a major hurricane making landfall along the East Coast and a 44% probability along the Gulf Coast. Those averages are 31% and 30% respectively, according to Colorado State.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Chris Reese and Daniel Wallis

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