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Forecasters predicting 'extremely active' hurricane season

Forecasters predicting 'extremely active' hurricane season
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Forecasters are predicting an "extremely active" hurricane season this year, with an estimated 24 named storms for 2020.

According to expert meteorologists at Colorado State University (CSU), recent Hurricanes Hanna and Isaias are only the beginning of what is expected to be a long storm season ahead.

Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach along with a team at CSU have predicted that 12 of the estimated 24 storms will become hurricanes, including Hanna and Isaias, which struck U.S. coastlines in recent weeks.

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"The team predicts that 2020 hurricane activity will be about 190% of the average season," Klotzbach told USA Today. "By comparison, 2019's hurricane activity was about 120% of the average season."

Data collected by the research team forecasted that five of the 12 hurricanes predicted would reach major hurricane strength of category 3, 4 or 5 levels.

According to the team's findings, there is a 74 percent chance that a major hurricane will strike a U.S. coastline at some point this year.

Klotzbach said the explanation for a more active season is connected with rising sea temperatures, but added the reason could be tied with the active West African monsoon.

"More robust easterly waves and more conducive upper-level winds for hurricanes in the tropical Atlantic are typically associated with an active monsoon," Klotzbach said.

He also noted that conditions in the Atlantic mirror "La-Niña-like" weather patterns, which are conducive to increasing the chances of hurricanes in late-summer seasons instead of El Niño conditions.

The CSU team noted that the predictions are based on estimates of activity in the Atlantic and they are not an exact measure.