INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Colorado State University has released their predictions for the upcoming hurricane season.
Researchers at the university are calling for an above-average season for named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes (hurricanes rated Category 3 or higher).
We are coming off an above-average year in 2019, marking the fourth consecutive year of above-average numbers for tropical systems.
The forecast calls for 18 named storms, with eight of those becoming hurricanes. Four major hurricanes are predicted.
The reason for the above-average forecast has two main factors.
The first is the warm sea surface temperature anomalies that are noted in the Atlantic, which is forecast to remain for much of the summer and early fall. Warm ocean water is one of the key ingredients and driving forces for tropical development.
The second factor is the lack of an El Nino in the equatorial Pacific. El Nino can create wind shear across the Caribbean, which can shred tropical storms apart before they really get going. The forecast calls for more of a “neutral” phase for this upcoming hurricane season.
In 2019, there were 18 named storms, with three major hurricanes. The most damaging was Hurricane Dorian, which hovered and devastated the Bahamas for 36 hours as a Category 5 storm.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.