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December 1, 2020

TMP researchers correctly predicted extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was extremely active. This heightened level of hurricane activity was relatively well anticipated by Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project. The season broke the single-season Atlantic named storm record with 30 named storms and also featured 13 hurricanes and six major hurricanes – both the second most on record. Twelve named storms, of which six were at hurricane strength, made landfall in the continental United States with the strongest of these hurricanes being Category 4 Hurricane Laura, which made landfall in southwest Louisiana.

“The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was extremely active, especially when evaluated by named storm frequency and the number of tropical cyclones hitting the United States. Overall, our seasonal forecasts somewhat underestimated the number of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes but were quite accurate for Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE),” said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the forecast and a research scientist in the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science. Accumulated Cyclone Energy is an integrated metric accounting for intensity and duration of storms. Seasonal Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) was approximately 170 percent of the 1981-2010 average. The latter part of the season was extremely active, with four of the six major hurricanes that formed in 2020 occurring in October-November. No season on record prior to 2020 had more than two Atlantic major hurricane formations in October-November.

Read the full Source article, “CSU researchers correctly predicted extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.”

At top: CIRA satellite image of Hurricane Eta.