ORLANDO, Fla. - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gave their initial outlook for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season on Thursday morning.
They predicted an above-average season, with 13 to 19 named storms. 6 to 10 of those would become hurricanes and 3 to 6 of those are forecasted to become major hurricanes (category 3 or higher) with top winds of 111 mph.
The outlook includes Arthur, a short-lived tropical storm that passed near the coast of North Carolina.
“We're expecting another above-normal season, possibly extremely active,” said Gerry Bell, NOAA’s lead hurricane season forecaster.
Bell pointed towards warmer ocean temperatures and weaker trade winds in the Atlantic hurricane 'main development region.' He highlighted the likely continuation of the ENSO neutral conditions and the possibility of La Nina developing, which would enhance activity.
“This is the time to start getting prepared, make sure you know what to do this season,” Bell said.
FOX 35 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Richards commented on NOAA's predicted, adding that "the 2020 Hurricane Season is expected to be very active compared to normal and potentially more active than last year's busy season. The combination of warmer waters and less wind shear will combine to bring many tropical systems our way."
There will be an update in early August, at the onset of the peak months of hurricane season, which are August, September, and October.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season comes as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Emergency officials across Central Florida are already preparing and may have to open up more shelters so people can social distance as they hunker down.
For example, Brevard County Emergency Management spokesman Don Walker told said that they would consider using classrooms and hotels. They may even complete temperature checks and rapid COVID-19 tests before people enter the shelters.
Walker also advised that people start stocking up now, but not all at once, citing that people should "start buying it in chunks and doses now, so when the time comes you’ve got what you need to sustain you through that emergency."
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