Information obtained through March 2020 indicates that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will have activity above the 1981-2010 average. We estimate that 2020 will have about 8 hurricanes (average is 6.4), 16 named storms (average is 12.1), 80 named storm days (average is 59.4), 35 hurricane days (average is 24.2), 4 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.7) and 9 major hurricane days (average is 6.2). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 130 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2020 to be approximately 140 percent of their long-term averages.
This forecast is based on a new extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that was developed using 38 years of past data. Analog predictors are also utilized. We are also including statistical/dynamical models based off data from both the ECMWF SEAS5 model and the Met Office GloSea5 model as two additional forecast guidance tools. We are also including probability of exceedance curves to better quantify the uncertainty in these outlooks.
The current warm neutral ENSO event appears likely to transition to either cool neutral ENSO or weak La Niña during the summer/fall. The tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal, while the subtropical Atlantic is quite warm, and the far North Atlantic is anomalously cool. The anomalously cold sea surface temperatures in the far North Atlantic lead us to believe that the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation is in its negative phase. While a cold far North Atlantic is typically associated with a cold tropical Atlantic, that has not occurred this winter.