NOAA Predicts Above Average Hurricane Season, And Here’s The List Of Storm Names

May 22, 2020

An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.

The outlook released Thursday predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).  An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

NOAA said they have a 70 percent confidence  rate in their forecast.

“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. “Just as in years past, NOAA experts will stay ahead of developing hurricanes and tropical storms and provide the forecasts and warnings we depend on to stay safe.”

The combination of several climate factors is driving the strong likelihood for above-normal activity in the Atlantic this year. El Nino 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. Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all 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.”


14 Responses to “NOAA Predicts Above Average Hurricane Season, And Here’s The List Of Storm Names”

  1. Sedition on May 24th, 2020 4:35 pm

    Nice. Maybe we’ll get a biblical locust swarm and hit the disaster trifecta this year.

  2. BRING IT ON on May 23rd, 2020 7:35 pm

    Bring it on….maybe some put out of business people can get a much needed paycheck. That’s what insurance is for.

  3. Janet on May 23rd, 2020 8:38 am

    I lived in Atmore when Ivan went through. We went to Cullman for safety and when we returned, all along the highway and town syptreets looked like a war zone. Every tree in our yard was destroyed but our house was pretty much untouched. The following year, Dennis came to visit! I’ve since moved to the Midwest where I was raised and although I miss parts of the south, hurricanes are not one of them!

  4. mat on May 22nd, 2020 7:12 pm

    What about Elana in 1985.
    I remember her well.

  5. Alan on May 22nd, 2020 5:30 pm

    If you live in the panhandle of Florida, sooner or later, one is going to pay you a visit. You don’t need anyone to predict that for you. The Pensacola area has been hit by hurricanes and tropical storms approximately 46 times since 1876, according to Pensapedia.

    Some of our more recent storms:
    Eloise (1975)
    Frederic (1979)
    Juan (1985)
    Erin (1995)
    Opal (1995)
    Ivan (2004)
    Dennis (2005)

    It has been 15 years. This could be the year.

  6. Concerned Observer on May 22nd, 2020 4:04 pm

    Spot on assessment David and with numbers to back it up. Like you say, formations don’t mean landfalls.

  7. David Huie Green on May 22nd, 2020 2:36 pm

    ““It seems like they say this every year.”
    It seems like that because they say it every year…”

    Note that they generally don’t predict landfalls, just the formations.
    To check on their history of predictions or Seasonal Climate Summary, go to:
    and click on any X to see what they said.

    For examples,
    23 May 2019
    “The 2019 outlook calls for a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity:

    9-15 Named Storms
    4-8 Hurricanes
    2-4 Major Hurricanes
    Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) range of 65%-140% of the median”


    24 May 2018
    “The 2018 outlook calls for a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity:
    10-16 Named Storms
    5-9 Hurricanes
    1-4 Major Hurricanes
    Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) range of 65%-145% of the median”

    David for being helpful

  8. Concerned Observer on May 22nd, 2020 1:53 pm

    Easy to wonder about why they predict this every year BUT if you look at the statistics from the last 2-3 years, I believe this is warranted. Major hurricanes have been a big deal along the Gulf Coast and East Coast. Storms have defied intensity forecasts and have been harder to nail down accurate tracks. I understand the weather patterns have a great deal to do with this. People should definitely heed the warning of a potentially bad Hurricane season. Better to warn and not have than to have and be caught unprepared.

  9. Chris Paul on May 22nd, 2020 11:52 am

    Dont they always predict this?

  10. just sayin on May 22nd, 2020 11:15 am

    Don’t go getting yourself all up in a panic. They will send out the lesser forecast in a few months.

  11. Sean on May 22nd, 2020 10:10 am

    Cristóbal or Fay, I’ll be waiting. Time to board up them windows

  12. Morgan on May 22nd, 2020 9:59 am

    Oh just once would I love for one of the names to be Morgan.

  13. DLo on May 22nd, 2020 9:13 am

    “It seems like they say this every year.”
    It seems like that because they say it every year…

  14. Travis on May 22nd, 2020 8:00 am

    It seems like they say this every year.

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