Hurricane warnings in 2020 may come to a damaged America, as much of the US is now reeling from the effects of COVID-19. Coastal regions of the country will struggle to shake off any significant weather systems, as one former mayor warned earlier this week.
According to weather forecasters with US-based Accuweather, 2020 is in for a “very active” hurricane season.
Accuweather recently extended the “upper range” of potential hurricanes in this year’s season.
Now, a forecasting team led by Accuweather’s top hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski, believe 14 to 20 systems could collide with the US in 2020.
They also included an estimate a further seven to 11 storms would develop into hurricanes.
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Mr Kottlowski also increased the number of “major” hurricanes – those of a category three or more – from four to six.
The latest news came as a blow for residents of communities scattered on the US east and west coasts, many of which are still under lockdown due to COVID-19.
Florida’s Monroe County Commissioner, Craig Cates, expressed his fears at the impact of the new season, as the county has already suffered at the hands of the virus.
The region counts heavily on tourism to shore up its economy, and the latest measures have cut off a valuable income stream.
Speaking to Accuweather’s Monica Danielle, he said tourism accounts for “a good 50 percent” of their economy.
With the threat of damaging storms looming over the area – which has seen 26 hurricanes since 1926, the most of any US county – Mr Cates said there is “no chance” they could make up reserves before a hurricane impact.
He said: “We’re dipping into our reserves with no chance to make them up by hurricane season.
“That is our concern… We can’t afford a hurricane this year, for sure.”
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Accuweather’s initial hurricane season forecast suggested 14 to 18 named tropical storms, seven to nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes would touch down in the US.
Major hurricanes are those caused by the strongest winds and include categories three to five.
Those categories bring wind speeds from 111 to 157mph and more, with the potential for “catastrophic” damage in the upper two.
A hurricane season carrying several of these would cause millions or billions of dollars in damage alone.
Hurricane season in the US runs during different periods depending on the region.
On the eastern seaboard, which faces the Atlantic Ocean, hurricane season runs between June 1 to November 30.
On the US west coast, hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30.
During both seasons, 20 storms might develop, roughly five of which may become major storms.
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