Nassau County Emergency Management
May 22, 2020
Busy Atlantic hurricane season predicted for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season from June 1 through November 30.
An above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is expected for 2020, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting (with 70% confidence) a range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds > 39 mph), of which six to ten could become hurricanes (winds > 74 mph), including three to six major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
“As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Nina, meaning there will not be an El Nino present to suppress hurricane activity. Warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon also increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995.
“NOAA’s analysis of current and seasonal atmospheric conditions reveals a recipe for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “Our skilled forecasters, coupled with upgrades to our computer models and observing technologies, will provide accurate and timely forecasts to protect life and property.”
As with every hurricane season, the need to be prepared is critically important this year.
“Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from COVID-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters, and more. With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes, and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now,” said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA. “Natural disasters won’t wait, so I encourage you to keep COVID-19 in mind when revising or making your plan for you and your loved ones, and don’t forget your pets. An easy way to start is to download the FEMA App today.”
Keep in mind, you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials. Visit Hurricanes.gov throughout the season to stay current on any watches and warnings.