The 2020 hurricane season begins on June 1st and lasts until November 30th. During those five months, people living along the Atlantic coast could see more strong storms than usual. The Tropical Meteorological Project at Colorado State University has issued annual Atlantic storm forecasts for 37 years. This year, it predicts eight hurricanes, four of which could produce sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or more, out of 16 named storms.
To put that into perspective, during an average season there are six hurricanes out of 12 named storms. The team at Colorado State University does not specifically predict whether any of the storms will make landfall along the coastline of the United States. However, it does estimate a 69% chance that one of these storms could reach U.S. shores.
The recently released forecast is the first of four that the CSU team will release throughout the season. Early in June, July and August, it will give updated forecasts based on the new data it gathers in the interim. The team releases a forecast in April because it is the earliest time that the data gives a good indication of what hurricane-season conditions might be like.
The team at CSU takes four factors into consideration when making its predictions: vertical wind shear levels, the presence of El Nino, sea level pressures and sea surface temperatures. One of the researchers reports that the lattermost is much higher than it has been over the past few years. The team developed the April forecast using four different techniques. The result was consistent each time regardless of the technique used.