2020 has been off to a start so bad that it is truly historical, and experts are predicting that things could get even worse in the coming months. As the world is starting to come to terms with the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic crisis, scientists are now warning about swarms of “murder hornets” that could decimate honey bee populations. If all that isn’t bad enough, we have natural disasters to worry about as well, and hurricanes, in particular, are supposed especially bad this year. In fact, scientists are predicting that this could be one of the worst hurricane seasons on record.
According to predictions from researchers at Penn State University and The Earth System Science Center, the 2020 hurricane season could see up to 24 tropical storms that are large enough to be named. A hurricane season has not even come close to getting this bad since 2012.
This prediction was made using the statistical model of Kozar et al.
We predict one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons on record (20±4 named storms) | "The 2020 North Atlantic Hurricane Season: Penn State ESSC Forecast": https://t.co/MNs6uvpX0Z@Penn_State @PSUClimate @PSUEarth @PSUEMS pic.twitter.com/VfKa89cuNl
— Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann) April 27, 2020
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a normal Atlantic hurricane season produces an average of 12 named storms, 6 of which are hurricanes. The 2019 season had 18 named storms, matching 1969 for the fourth most active season in the past 150 years.
According to the weather channel, a storm has to have sustained winds of 74 MPH or more to be considered a hurricane, while a tropical storm is listed for anything 73 MPH. Many tropical storms often become hurricanes as they follow their trajectory and pick up speed.
The CSU outlook estimations are based on more than 30 years of data which similar characteristics of sea level pressure and sea surface temperatures in the oceans Atlantic and eastern Pacific. The data was collected between 1981 and 2010.
Other estimates from places like Colorado State University have confirmed these findings.
According to Axios, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is drafting a document that lists preparations for surviving a pandemic during hurricane season. This is likely because every state in the country has declared a state of emergency, which is unprecedented, and it means that hurricanes will be approaching areas that are already vulnerable.
The storms and hurricanes for the 2020 season, which ends on November 30, are named Arthur, Bertha, Christobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.
The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1. The eastern Pacific season starts earlier, on May 15, and has already had one storm. The hurricane season for both regions will technically end on November 30th.
Worldwide, hurricane activity peaks in late summer, when the difference between temperatures aloft and sea surface temperatures is the greatest. However, each particular basin has its own seasonal patterns. On a worldwide scale, May is the least active month, while September is the most active.
The most active season was 2005, during which 28 tropical cyclones formed, of which a record 15 became hurricanes. The least active season was 1914, where only one known tropical cyclone developed that year.
Hurricane Preparedness Week lasts May 3rd through May 9th, according to The National Weather Service.
It’s not just those along the coast that can experience significant, life-threatening impacts. Evaluate what you need to do to protect your home and family NOW, before the first storm of the season even forms. https://t.co/PZUmusCfeL #HurricanePrep #HurricaneStrong pic.twitter.com/ccRM6HRTBp
— NWS Mobile (@NWSMobile) May 3, 2020