NOAA predicts above-normal hurricane season

Hurricane Dorian IN 2019. Photo provided by NOAA.
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COLLEGE STATION, Tex (KBTX) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has released its seasonal outlook ahead of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

In conjunction with the Climate Prediction Center, forecasters say the range of named storms (39 mph or higher) will be in the 13 to 19 range, of which there will be 6 to 10 hurricanes(winds of 74 mph or higher), with 3 to 6 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher).

For reference, an average hurricane season contains 12 named storms, 6 of which become hurricanes, with three being major.

NOAA attributes the likely above-normal season to an absence of "El Niño" conditions, or even a trending toward "La Niña" by this summer. El Niño patterns often suppress hurricane formation the Atlantic Basin thanks to stronger upper level winds in the tropics. La Niña typically brings warmer, drier summer to Texas, but tropical systems can easily throw a wrench in that climate rule-of-thumb.

NOAA touts new updates to their HWRF and HMON models, which initiate when is deemed "potential tropical cyclone". This should give forecasters better tools for their predictions this season.

It is important to remember hurricane pre-season forecasts do not forecast the number of landfalling storms, whether in the tropics, US, or otherwise. . Whether an active or relatively quiet season, it only takes one major storm to make the storm "above-normal" for those impacted. As storms form throughout the season, stay with the National Hurricane Center and the PinPoint Weather Team for updates.

The 2020 hurricane season started early for the sixth year in a row, with Arthur forming in mid-May, briefly bringing dangerous surf and flooding rains to the North Carolina coast.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30.