2020 hurricane season outlook: What to know

We are less than two months away from the start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

Colorado State University released its annual Atlantic hurricane seasonal outlook Thursday, April 2.

Dr. Phil Klotzbach and his team are forecasting an above-average hurricane season this year. It is important to note that this is not a forecast for land-falling tropical systems.

Many factors are included in the annual CSU hurricane seasonal outlook.

One of the forecast factors is whether the equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures are warmer or cooler than average.

When sea surface temperatures are cooler than average in the equatorial Pacific (La Nina), wind shear over the tropical Atlantic is usually low. Lower wind shear typically helps tropical systems gain strength or sustain their strength as they cross the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the Pacific (El Nino) help increase wind shear in the tropical Atlantic. Increased wind shear helps to tear apart hurricanes.

The forecast for the “peak” of the Atlantic hurricane season, so far, is near average or slightly cooler than average equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures.

Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are also anomalously warm as we approach the start of the season. Tropical systems need warm water in order to form and gain strength.

The first named storm this year will be Arthur.

It is important to remember that it only takes ONE storm to make it a bad season for you and your family here in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

The Action News Jax First Weather Team will be tracking each storm as they form through the hurricane season. Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh’s daily tropics blog, “Talking the Tropics with Mike,” begins on June 1 or earlier, if needed.

Visit the First Alert Hurricane Center for information on how you and your family can prepare for the upcoming season now. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.

For more information from CSU, click here.

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