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Tropical forecasts hint at memorable season

Updated hurricane season forecasts continue the active trend
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Posted at 6:25 AM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 11:07:59-04

Hurricane season started two months ago, but it's already breaking records.

Isaias was the season's ninth named storm, making it the quickest we have ever reached that number.

With the accelerated season in full swing, an updated tropical forecast was released this week.

Colorado State University's Hurricane Research Center is now predicting 24 named storms. Keep in mind, a normal hurricane name list omits the letters q, u, x, y and z.

As a result, a forecasted 24 storms would push us into our backup list of Greek letters. This has only happened once before, in 2005, when we ended up with 31 storms.

As for major hurricanes, which are category 3 strength or greater, Colorado State predicts five such hurricanes.

Now for the meat of the forecast, two big predictors of hurricane season are ocean temperatures and wind sheer, which is basically how wind direction changes at different levels of the atmosphere. This year, water in the Atlantic Ocean is the fourth warmest on record, meaning there is more fuel for hurricanes.

Also, July had the second-lowest vertical wind sheer on record, meaning there is not much to cap, or limit, a storm's potential.

Overall, this season has been extremely active so far, but we are just beginning to ramp up as the peak of hurricane season doesn't occur until mid September.