The Atlanta-based weather season has predicted a very active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season starting June 1. Warm moist air evaporation from oceans in the tropics fuel the formation of these hurricanes. The scientists' forecast is combined dynamic forecasts with machine learning, as informed by their physical understanding of hurricane activities.
An Active 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season
According to several forecasts and a report from the Weather Channel on April 16, the Atlantic hurricane season is likely to be very active due to the very warm ocean temperatures from the tropics. The Atlanta-based weather forecasting owned by IBM has named a total of 18 storms, nine of them are hurricanes, and four becoming major hurricanes are expected to come this season starting June 1.
It is higher than what the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined which has only name 12 storms including 6 hurricanes.
The four major hurricanes under Category 3 or higher forecast by the Weather Channel have sustained winds of at least 178 kilometers per hour or 111 miles per hour.
Other researchers including forecasters from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and the University of Arizona in Tucson, and also the Tropical Storm Risk which is a group of risk experts at University College London have predicted the above-normal activity for the year.
Moreover, there is an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the coastline of the United States and in the Caribbean, according to Dr. Philip Klotzbach, a research scientist on the CSU.
Residents living near the coasts are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. Regardless of how much activity is predicted they should prepare the same for every season.
The reason behind the above-average hurricane season
These weather experts cited the very high sea-surface temperatures or SST in the tropical Atlantic Ocean as the main reason for the expected hurricane season.
The warm moist air rising from the ocean acts as a fuel for these hurricanes which pumps the water into the atmosphere that gets carried higher by converging winds until it precipitates. It then releases more heat and drive the cycle forward.
On April 13, researchers together with the University of Arizona noted that the "Atlantic SST is forecasted to be one of the warmest since 1993." This is the first time that the team has released a weather forecast for the hurricane season, rather than in June.
Analyses coming from The Weather Channel and other weather experts also suggest that in summer, a La Niña weather pattern can be expected. La Niña is the opposite of the El Niño weather pattern which brings cooler waters to the tropical Pacific Ocean and changes wind patterns over the Atlantic in ways that can aid hurricanes to grow stronger.
Other than the SST in the Atlantic, meteorologists are also watching the amount of dry air that rolls off the coast of Africa. Dry air can still disrupt the development of tropical cyclones or prevent their development even if water temperatures are boiling and there is a little wind shear.
Meteorologists have to keep track of all factors for a hurricane to develop and strengthen.