Fast start to 2020 hurricane season confirms early forecasts of active year


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — With Edouard forming Sunday in the Atlantic, the 2020 hurricane season is the fastest to reach five named storms, beating Emily in 2005 by one week.

North Carolina State University’s hurricane season forecast calls for an above-average season, but even they are surprised by the quick start.

“Particularly in May before the hurricane season started, we got two named storms already, and now we’ve got five. That is sort of unexpected,” explains Dr. Lian Xie, a professor at N.C. State and one of the authors of the seasonal hurricane forecast.

The busy start to the 2020 season will not change their preseason forecast, as they were already expecting an extremely active season with 18 to 22 named storms.

“We are already calling for a very active hurricane season as we put out our forecast back in April. We are maintaining our forecast,” Dr. Xie says.

The N.C. State team is confident that the historic pace we are on early in the year proves the scientific consensus that 2020 will be an active hurricane season.

“With more early season storms, it doesn’t really mean there will be as many major hurricanes, but it doesn’t rule it out either,” Dr. Xie explains. “All of the forecasts – including NC State’s forecast, Colorado State, and NOAA – are all calling for an active season. I think this is good consensus here that we are dealing with a very active season.”

NC State is also calling for 8 to 11 hurricanes, with 3 to 5 of those becoming major hurricanes.

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