The Pennsylvania State University Earth System Science Center released their 2020 hurricane forecast on Monday, April 27th. Michael Mann, the director of the Penn State program calls for “one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons on record with 20 named storms.” An average hurricane season only has 10 named storms. Pennsylvania State is known for the most accurate tropical seasonal outlooks, usually slightly under predicting the total storm count. The full 2020 forecast from Penn State forecasters can be found here.
The active 2020 hurricane season is expected because of above normal sea surface temperatures and the development on La Nina conditions by later summer. The Gulf of Mexico is currently 3 degrees above normal after a record warm winter. The warm water doesn’t mean that storms are guaranteed to form in the Gulf, but rather if storms move through the Gulf of Mexico they may strengthen quicker than usual.
The Colorado State University forecast released at the beginning of April also calls for an above average hurricane season. The final seasonal hurricane outlook will be released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) around Memorial Day.
With hurricane season just over one month away, here is a list of the 2020 storm names created by the World Meteorological Association. As always, trust on Storm Team 12 for complete tropical coverage as we approach summer time.