Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Conditions are ripe for a major Atlantic hurricane in 2020

An ominous combination of warm ocean water and seasonal weather patterns is lining up to fuel storms this year.

A high-definition video camera outside the space station shows Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, barrelling toward the Carolinas in September 14, 2018. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ESA/NASA–A. GERST

By Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic

Emergency responders in the United States are already stretched thin by a pandemic and western wildfires, and states along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico have yet to see the worst of what’s predicted to be an active and potentially destructive hurricane season.

“Things are unfortunately shaping up to be an active hurricane season in the Atlantic, which is probably not what people are wanting to hear,” says Phil Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University who specializes in Atlantic Ocean hurricanes.

In an average year, around 12 named storms form—with anything from a tropical storm to a full-fledged hurricane earning an official moniker. This year, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that anywhere from 13 to 19 large storms could spin up, with as many as six becoming major hurricanes.  Read more >>