WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Meteorologists with Colorado State University issued their annual Atlantic Hurricane Season outlook Thursday, suggesting 2020 will be an active year for tropical storms and hurricanes across the Atlantic Basin.
An average year in the Atlantic Basin features 12 named tropical systems, including 6 hurricanes and 3 major (Cat. 3+) hurricanes.
The 2020 CSU forecast for the Atlantic Basin suggests there will be 16 named tropical systems, including 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes.
Seasonal tropical weather outlooks naturally elicit cynicism from some consumers, but such forecasts have shown some skill over time. CSU says potential contributors to Atlantic tropical cyclone activity include: the expectation of a weak or absent Pacific El Nino and much warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures across portions of the Atlantic Basin, like the Gulf of Mexico.
What no seasonal tropical forecast can say with any provable, repeatable skill is what coastlines will be impacted by tropical activity.
One might argue that the Bahamian and Southeast U.S. portions of the Atlantic Basin are, at least statistically, due for a break after Hurricanes Joaquin, Matthew, Irma, Florence, Michael, and Dorian have ravaged the region since 2015.
A break is indeed worth hoping for, but you never know until the actual season arrives and the individual storms develop. The best course, in any year and with any forecast, is vigilance and preparedness.
Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins June 1.