NOAA updates tropics forecast, predicts "extremely active" season with up to 11 hurricanes

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been record-breaking so far.

This year we have had nine names storms between May and July, two of them being hurricanes. Five of the nine storms have made landfall in the United States.

NOAA released its update to the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook on Thursday.

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The updated outlook calls for 19 to 25 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), 7 to 11 of which will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), which includes 3 to 6 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This update includes the nine named storms that have already formed.

NOAA's lead hurricane season forecaster Gerry Bell said that "this season will be one of the stronger seasons on record."

In NOAA's initial outlook earlier this year, they predicted a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season. hat number has now been increased to an 85 percent chance.

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Bell added the current oceanic and atmospheric conditions will likely make this hurricane season "extremely active." According to NOAA, these conditions are warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean Sea, reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon.

NOAA also said that a main climate factor behind these conditions is the ongoing warm phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation, which favors a more active hurricane season.

As we enter the peak months of hurricane season, these conditions are expected to continue.

STAY PREPARED: Get all you need to know about the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season with the FOX 35 Orlando Hurricane Guide

This year's forecast of up to 25 is the highest number NOAA has ever predicted, beating the 21 predicted for 2005, Bell said.  An average year, based on 1981 to 2010 data, is 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

There are 21 names assigned to a hurricane season. If there are more than 21 storms, meteorologists turn after Wilfred to the Greek alphabet — Alpha, Beta, Gamma and so on.

In a normal year, about 90 percent of storm activity comes after August 6, with mid-August to mid-October as peak season. So far this year, there have been nine named storms, with most setting a record for being early. The most destructive so far has been this month's Hurricane Isaias which killed at least nine people and left millions of people without power.


Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest tropical updates.