NOAA predicts a busy 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

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NOAA is predicting an above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, according to forecasters at its Climate Prediction Center.

Forecasters say there is a 60% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a near-normal season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.

The prediction center is expecting up to 19 named storms, of which up to 10 could become hurricanes including three to six major hurricanes.

El Nino Southern Oscillation conditions are expected to either remain neutral or trend towards La Nina, so El Nino will not suppress hurricane activity.

Warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and enhanced west African monsoons, increase the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.

NOAA will feed data from the COSMIC-2 satellites into weather models to track hurricane intensity and boost forecast accuracy.

During the season, NOAA and the US Navy will use autonomous diving hurricane gliders to observe conditions in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean in areas where hurricanes tend to travel and intensify.

In the Central Pacific, NOAA is predicting a quieter tropical cyclone season, with between two and six tropical cyclones.

In this region, NOAA says there is a 75% chance of near- or below-normal tropical cyclone activity due to near-average ocean temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean and El Nino’s absence.

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