May 13, 2020 / 6:16 PM / 18 days ago

Forecaster sees 'big ticket' 2020 hurricane season

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Private weather forecaster Weatherbell Analytics expects a “big ticket” 2020 Atlantic hurricane season because of high sea surface temperatures and a lack of mitigating forces, according to the company’s latest outlook released on Wednesday.

Weatherbell’s forecast, prepared by forecaster Joe Bastardi, is using years with similar weather patterns to analyze the upcoming 2020 season. Among those analog years are 2005, which saw hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastate the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and 2017 when Hurricane Harvey raked the coast of Texas.

“Our expectations of a big-ticket season have not changed from our March 10 outlook,” Weatherbell said in the forecast.

The company forecasts between three and six major hurricanes with winds of at least 111 miles per hour (179 km) in 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1.

The company also forecasts between seven and 11 hurricanes out 14-20 named tropical storms.

Weatherbell’s forecast is consistent with one issued in early April by the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, which predicted four major hurricanes out of a total of eight hurricanes amid 14-18 named tropical storms.

The average hurricane season produces between two and three major hurricanes.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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