SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - With the heart of hurricane season still two weeks away looks like there will be plenty more storms to keep us on our toes between now and Nov. 30th.
Dr. Philip Klotzbach and his team out of Colorado State University have come out with their scheduled update on the rest of the 2020 seasonal forecast.
As you would expect, as how everything else is going this year, it’s going to get busy. He is now suggesting there will be a total of 24 named storms, 12 hurricanes and 5 major storms with winds greater than 110 mph.
Now that is more than double in every category. So with the 9 named storms already, there could be 15 more. We have already had 2 hurricanes so possibly 10 more. The average number of major storms is 2 and he sees 5 developing. It’s the major storms that do the most damage.
The record number in modern history is 28 named storms which happened in 2005. Now with only 21 letters of the English alphabet to use it looks like we will run out of names again this year if the forecasts pans out.
If that happens the National Hurricane Center cracks into the Greek alphabet. That means we could see Alpha, Beta or maybe Gamma before it is all done.
The reason for the spike in the forecast is due to several factors.
1. Warmer than average oceanic heat content in the Atlantic basin. It is the 4th warmest on record right now.
2. Low wind shear in July translates to lower than average shear in Aug. and Sept.
3. Lower surface pressures in the main development region.
4. Increased monsoon action coming off the coast of Africa i.e. tropical waves.
5. No El Nino and a possible weak La Nina during the peak month of Sept. and early Oct. which favors development.
We have to keep all this in focus however. In 1995 there were 21 named storms and not one had an impact on the Suncoast.
In 2005 there was Katrina, Rita and Wilma and of the 28 storms that hyper year we didn’t have to deal with any of them here.
As the old rule of thumb goes.... “It only takes one hitting your area to make it an active season.”
The key to surviving a storm is to have a plan, know your evacuation zone and evacuate when asked to do so.
The weather over the next several days is calling for partly cloudy skies with a chance for scattered showers in the morning along the coast and then anywhere during the afternoon.
We will see the rain chances increasing through the weekend with a 60% chance for storms from Friday through Sunday. Highs will be in the low 90′s and low’s in the upper 70′s.