TAMPA, Fla. - With the start of hurricane season now less than two months away, researchers believe we could see "above average" activity in the tropics.
Meteorologist Philip Klotzbach, a specialist in Atlantic basin hurricane forecasts, released his annual forecast for the season, along with his team at Colorado State University.
The researchers say the 2020 hurricane season is expected to have at least 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes (Category 3 or above).
Their forecast calls for a 95% chance of at least one hurricane making landfall in the U.S., while the average over the last century is 84%.
Additionally, there's a 69% chance of landfall of a major hurricane along the U.S. coastline, compared to a 52% average.
"One of the reasons for the above-average seasonal hurricane forecast from CSU is due to the likely lack of El Nino this summer/fall," Klotzbach wrote on Twitter. "El Nino generally increases vertical wind shear in the Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes."
He also pointed to warmer-than-normal temperatures in the Atlantic, which correlates to above-normal hurricane seasons.
The 2019 season brought 18 named stormes, matching 1969 for the fourth most-lively season in the past 150 years.
Hurricane season begins on June 1 and lasts until November 30.
This story was written from Tampa, Florida.