The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been off to a rapid pace with a record-setting nine named storms so far and has the potential to be one of the busiest on record.
According to Marshall Alexander, the Senior Met Officer at the Dominica Meteorological Service, “Historically, only two named storms form on average by early August, and the ninth named storm typically does not form until October 4.”
Alexander says an average season produces 12 named storms, including six hurricanes of which three becomes major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5).
Meanwhile, the updated outlook calls for 19-25 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 7-11 will become hurricanes.
“The updated outlook now calls for an 85% chance and 85% probability of an above normal season with nineteen to twenty-five named storms of which seven to eleven are expected to become hurricanes including three to six becoming hurricanes of categories three, four, or five.”
“This update covers the entire six months hurricane season which ends November 30th and includes the ninth named storm to date,” Alexander noted.
He added, “There is a 10% chance of a near normal season and a 5% chance of below normal season.”
This year’s forecast is one of the most active seasonal forecasts the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) has produced in its history of hurricane outlook.
Alexander says the Met Service will continue to provide credible and timely information to the public to ensure that the nation is well inform so as to make the best decisions leading to the safety of life and property.
“This outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast, however, the Dominica Met Service continues to encourage the public to play their part in making preparations, staying informed and being ready to take action when necessary and also encourages citizens to keep COVID-19 in mind in their preparation efforts.”
Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center also says “This year, we expect more, stronger, and longer-lived storms than average, and our predicted Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) range extends well above NOAA’s threshold for an extremely active season.”