The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a strong possibility of an "extremely active" and "above-normal" 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, with 13 to 19 named storms, of which several could be major hurricanes.
This comes after the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University predicted 16 named storms and four major hurricanes in its 38th annual forecast previously reported here.
That would make 2020 the most active hurricane season since the record-damaging year of 2017 when hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma devastated parts of the United States and the Caribbean.
The season will officially start on Monday, June 1 and end on Monday, Nov. 30.
There's a 60 percent chance of an above-normal hurricane season, according to NOAA's projections, which were released on Thursday, May 21. (See image above.)
NOAA says there could be three to six major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).
“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.”
NOAA says the "need to be prepared is critically important this year."
Said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA: “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.
“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."
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