The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season could be one of the most active on record, according to a new outlook by Colorado State University.
"The team predicts that 2020 hurricane activity will be about 190% of the average season," according to the new forecast. "By comparison, 2019’s hurricane activity was about 120% of the average season."
The CSU outlook calls for 24 named storms, 12 of which are expected to become hurricanes, and five of those hurricanes becoming major hurricanes – Category 3 or higher (115-plus-mph winds) on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
If the forecast holds, 2020 would have the second most number of storms in any season, just behind 2005's 28 storms. It would also tie both 1969 and 2010 for the second most hurricanes in any season, again trailing only 2005's 15 hurricanes.
The reasons for the upgraded forecast include warmer sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic; shearing winds in the Atlantic are very weak, researchers said, which aids in hurricane development and intensification; and a very active West African monsoon. Easterly waves are the small weather disturbances that eject off Africa, which can develop into hurricanes.