Weather conditions across the Atlantic Basin continue to point toward an active tropical season in 2020.
Earlier this month, scientists at Colorado State University released their outlook for the upcoming hurricane season. Their forecast was for a greater than average number of storms.
Meteorologists at North Carolina State University released their 2020 hurricane season, and it too points toward an above average tropical season.
The forecast from NCSU is predicting 18 to 22 named systems (tropical storms). Of those storms, eight to eleven are forecast to become hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, three to five are forecast to develop into major hurricanes.
A major hurricane is classified as Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. A category 3 hurricane has winds of at least 111 miles per hour.
Above average water temperatures in the Atlantic Basin along with no El Nino could be major contributing factors to increased tropical activity. Warm waters are the "fuel" for tropical systems, and El Ninos create strong upper level winds that can hamper storm development.
Lian Xie, professor of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State, believes the Gulf of Mexico may see more storm formation this year. During an average year, the Gulf typically sees three named storms develop there. In 2020, Xie feels that an above average number of storms could develop in the Gulf.
His team is predicting that six to ten tropical systems will develop in the Gulf of Mexico this season.
Remember, this is a forecast for development and not landfall.
The 2020 Atlantic Basin Tropical Season begins on June 1st and lasts through November 30th.