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Tracking the Tropics: Experts update hurricane season forecast to ‘extremely active’ with 24 named storms |

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Tracking the Tropics: Experts update hurricane season forecast to ‘extremely active’ with 24 named storms

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Colorado State University released an updated forecast for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season this week. The forecast now calls for an “extremely active” season with a total of 24 named storms, which include the nine storms already named this year.

The forecast calls for 24 named storms and 12 hurricanes, five of which are expected to be major – meaning they would reach Category 3 strength or higher.

If we do get 24 named storms, that would use every name on the 2020 list and three letters of the Greek alphabet.

The previous forecast released by Colorado State University before the start of the season only predicted a slightly above-average season with 16 named storms and eight hurricanes.

One of the main reasons for the jump in the forecast is warmer than normal sea-surface temperatures. According to meteorologist Philip Klotzbach, the current temperatures rank as the fourth warmest on record since 1982.

One reason for increase in CSU Atlantic #hurricane season forecast is extremely warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temps. Currently 4th warmest on record (since 1982), trailing 2005, 2010 & 2017. Warmer water means more fuel for storms, also typically more atmospheric instability pic.twitter.com/X2S0HDlaBX

— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) August 5, 2020

Another reason Klotzbach’s forecast calls for an above-average season is due to stronger tropical waves coming off the coast of Africa due to an active West African Monsoon. This can lead to more conducive upper-level winds for hurricane development.

Vertical wind shear has been extremely low and a lack of El Nino are also contributing factors. You can read the full updated report on the Colorado State University website.

Tracking the Tropics is keeping you informed this hurricane season. Our team of meteorologists provides a live update every Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET.