WEATHER

Forecasters say they could run out of hurricane names

Aug 6, 2020, 10:27 AM
hurricane names...
The ninth named storm of the year is headed for the Florida coastline, but unlike its predecessor, Hanna, this time the pronunciation isn't as clear -- at least to non-native Spanish speakers. Credit: CNN

Starting in 1953, the National Hurricane Center began assigning names for tropical storms that arise in the Atlantic. This year, forecasters worry they will run out of names for the number of expected storms in 2020.

Currently, there are six rotating lists of 21 alphabetical names used for storms in the Atlantic which are maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. This year, they have already used 9 names on storms.

Hurricane season could be active

On Wednesday, forecasters at Colorado State University who are known for their seasonal predictions revised their estimates and are now calling for “an extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.”

CSU’s forecast is calling for 24 named storms. They say of those 24 storms, 12 likely would become hurricanes and five could reach a “major hurricane status” of a Category 3 or higher.

“This forecast is based on an extended-range early August statistical prediction scheme that was developed using 38 years of past data,” the scientists from CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science wrote.

Why this year could be busy

They say this active season is due to a combination of factors in the tropical Atlantic. Namely, the ocean waters being much warmer than normal and the vertical wind shear being much weaker than normal.

“Warmer than normal water across the tropical Atlantic provides more fuel for tropical cyclones and also is associated with lower than normal pressure (as was observed in July) and increased instability – all of which favor more hurricane activity,” they write.

The lower wind shear they say also prevents dry air from getting into the circulation of a storm which can weaken its potential for growth.

Hurricane names and history

This year, only two of the nine named storms so far turned into hurricanes: Hanna and Isaias. The most recent year with more than 21 named storms happened in 2005. 

“Everyone should realize that it is impossible to precisely predict this season’s hurricane activity in early August,” the forecasters write, “[But,] our early August statistical model shows strong evidence on nearly 40 years of data that significant improvement over a climatological forecast can be attained.”

“As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”


A side effect of the coronavirus: unpredictable weather

Today’s Top Stories

Weather

The National Weather Service of Salt Lake City says there is a red flag warning in effect for Weste...
Lindsay Aerts

Fourth of July weekend weather conditions ripe for fires

The National Weather Service of Salt Lake City says there is a red flag warning in effect for Western Utah. It warns that many fires are human caused.
1 day ago
Salt Lake County is working to make sure its golf courses don't use as much water in the drought....
Martha Harris

Salt Lake County says it has decreased water-use on its golf courses

Salt Lake County says it has back water usage on its golf courses. The county says it has done by changing how they water.
1 day ago
High water in the Gardiner River along the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Montana, ...
Curt Gresseth

Be ready for flash flooding: Expert shares advice

An expert with the Utah Division of Emergency Management shares his expertise and crucial tips on how to be ready for flash flooding when you are in a vehicle or at home.
4 days ago
Low water levels are plaguing the Great Salt Lake for several summers now....
Dan Bammes

Lake Powell is sitting low; this group is trying to raise the water levels

Lake Powell has been drying up for years. and one group wants its levels go up by 60 feet. But that's not how a 2017 drought plan had it mapped.
4 days ago
Multiple Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints buildings are featured in the photo. The churc...
Michele Rowe

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looks for ways to reduce water usage across it’s properties

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement today about the steps they are taking to help with the drought.
10 days ago
power outage, dry weather affects power lines...
Devin Oldroyd

Strong winds cause power outages around Utah

Customers in Ogden, Layton, Bluffdale, and Draper all experienced power outages due to strong winds.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Forecasters say they could run out of hurricane names