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Track The Tropics has been the #1 source to track the tropics 24/7 since 2013! The main goal of the site is to bring all of the important links and graphics to ONE PLACE so you can keep up to date on any threats to land during the Atlantic Hurricane Season! Hurricane Season 2024 in the Atlantic starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th. Love Spaghetti Models? Well you've come to the right place!! Remember when you're preparing for a storm: Run from the water; hide from the wind!

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Category Wind Speed Storm Surge
  mph ft
5 ≥157 >18
4 130–156 13–18
3 111–129 9–12
2 96–110 6–8
1 74–95 4–5
Additional Classifications
Tropical Storm 39–73 0–3
Tropical Depression 0–38 0
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a classification used for most Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of "tropical depressions" and "tropical storms", and thereby become hurricanes. Source: Intellicast

Hurricane Season 101

The official Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season runs from June 1st to November 30th.

A tropical cyclone is a warm-core, low pressure system without any “front” attached. It develops over tropical or subtropical waters, and has an organized circulation. Depending upon location, tropical cyclones have different names around the world. The Tropical Cyclones we track in the Atlantic basin are called Tropical Depressions, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes!

Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclones are classified as follows:

Tropical Depression: Organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with defined surface circulation and max sustained winds of 38 mph or less.

Tropical Storm: Organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph.

Hurricane: Intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation. A Hurricane has max sustained winds of 74 mph or higher!

The difference between Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches, Warnings, Advisories and Outlooks

Warnings:Listen closely to instructions from local officials on TV, radio, cell phones or other computers for instructions from local officials.Evacuate immediately if told to do so.

  • Storm Surge Warning: There is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area. This is generally within 36 hours. If you are under a storm surge warning, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.
  • Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified area. NHC issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations. All preparations should be complete. Evacuate immediately if so ordered.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within your area within 36 hours.
  • Extreme Wind Warning: Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour. Take immediate shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.

Please note that hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings for winds on land as well as storm surge watches and warnings can be issued for storms that the NWS believes will become tropical cyclones but have not yet attained all of the characteristics of a tropical cyclone (i.e., a closed low-level circulation, sustained thunderstorm activity, etc.). In these cases, the forecast conditions on land warrant alerting the public. These storms are referred to as “potential tropical cyclones” by the NWS.
Hurricane, tropical storm, and storm surge watches and warnings can also be issued for storms that have lost some or all of their tropical cyclone characteristics, but continue to produce dangerous conditions. These storms are called “post-tropical cyclones” by the NWS.

Watches: Listen closely to instructions from local officials on TV, radio, cell phones or other computers for instructions from local officials. Evacuate if told to do so.

  • Storm Surge Watch: Storm here is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 48 hours. If you are under a storm surge watch, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.
  • Hurricane Watch: Huriricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Because it may not be safe to prepare for a hurricane once winds reach tropical storm force, The NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical storm-force winds.
  • Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.


  • Tropical Cyclone Public Advisory:The Tropical Cyclone Public Advisory contains a list of all current coastal watches and warnings associated with an ongoing or potential tropical cyclone, a post-tropical cyclone, or a subtropical cyclone. It also provides the cyclone position, maximum sustained winds, current motion, and a description of the hazards associated with the storm.
  • Tropical Cyclone Track Forecast Cone:This graphic shows areas under tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings, the current position of the center of the storm, and its predicted track. Forecast uncertainty is conveyed on the graphic by a “cone” (white and stippled areas) drawn such that the center of the storm will remain within the cone about 60 to 70 percent of the time. Remember, the effects of a tropical cyclone can span hundreds of miles. Areas well outside of the cone often experience hazards such as tornadoes or inland flooding from heavy rain.


  • Tropical Weather Outlook:The Tropical Weather Outlook is a discussion of significant areas of disturbed weather and their potential for development during the next 5 days. The Outlook includes a categorical forecast of the probability of tropical cyclone formation during the first 48 hours and during the entire 5-day forecast period. You can also find graphical versions of the 2-day and 5-day Outlook here

Be sure to read up on tons of more information on Hurricane knowledge, preparedness, statistics and history under the menu on the left hand side of the page!

TrackTheTropics Resource Links

CONUS Hurricane Strikes

[Map of 1950-2017 CONUS Hurricane Strikes]
Total Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Total Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Total MAJOR Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Total Major Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Western Gulf Hurricane Strikes Western Gulf Hurricane Strikes Western Gulf MAJOR Hurricane Strikes Western Gulf Major Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf MAJOR Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf Major Hurricane Strikes SE Coast Hurricane Strikes SE Coast Hurricane Strikes SE Coast MAJOR Hurricane Strikes SE Coast Major Hurricane Strikes NE Coast Hurricane Strikes NE Coast Hurricane Strikes NE Coast MAJOR Hurricane Strikes NE Coast Major Hurricane Strikes

2020 Hurricane Season Forecasts

– Published April 30, 2020
– Updated: May 9, 2020 (Accuweather update)
– Updated: May 21, 2020 (NOAA Forecast below)

The 2020 hurricane season begins June 1st!

May 1st, 2020 – The official start of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is now a month away and ALL major organizations are forecasting an ABOVE AVERAGE ACTIVE Season! I will cover these forecasts below. Please NOTE that even with an active season the bottom line is it’s impossible to know for certain if a U.S. hurricane strike will occur this 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecastsseason. Keep in mind that whether its a below or above average season it only takes 1 storm to devastate a community and even a weak tropical storm hitting the U.S. can cause major impacts, particularly if it moves slowly and triggers flooding rainfall! The main reasoning behind their forecasts is the likelihood of an ENSO neutral to La Niña developing and also above average Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) this year, especially in the Gulf of Mexico and MDR Atlantic.

FACT: The 2019 season marked the fourth consecutive year of ABOVE-average activity in the basin and was tied with 1969 for the fourth most-active hurricane season on record!

How Much of a role Will El Niño, ENSO Neutral or La Niña Play?

El Niño/La Niña is the periodic warming/cooling of the equatorial eastern and central Pacific Ocean, it can shift weather patterns over a period of months. Its status is always one factor that is considered in hurricane season forecasting. Read more: El Niño/La Niña Status (ENSO) – Impacts of ENSO on Hurricane Season

Long-range forecasters at both NOAA and The Weather Company, an IBM Business, and CSU suggest that neutral conditions are anticipated through the first half of the hurricane season (June through August, or JJA), with either neutral or La Niña conditions possible in the second half (September through November, or SON). La Niña generally acts as a speed boost to the Atlantic hurricane season, but it is just one factor that can lead to an active year. Hurricane seasons can be active even if La Niña is not in play.

Other Factors in Play… 

One of the other ingredients that meteorologists are looking at going into the hurricane season is Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) and how warm the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are. Much of the Atlantic Basin’s waters are already above average temperature-wise. The Gulf of Mexico is also several degrees above average, given recent heat and the lack of rain over the Southeast.

The prevalence of wind shear across the Atlantic will also need to be watched over the next six to eight months. If La Niña does kick in toward the end of the season, as many forecasters expect, and the atmosphere responds to it, then there could be less wind shear and more favorable conditions for hurricane growth toward the end of the season.

How much dry air rolls off the coast of Africa will also need to be monitored. Even if water temperatures are boiling and there is little wind shear, dry air can still disrupt developing tropical cyclones and even prohibit their birth to begin with.

Hurricanes need a rather precise set of ingredients to come together in order for them to fester, so all of these ingredients above will need to be monitored this year.

NOTE: Based on a 30-year average a typical season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

UPDATED MAY 21NOAA releases their official forecast – 60% chance for an ABOVE-AVERAGE SEASON – according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). Entire forecast: http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/busy-atlantic-hurricane-season-predicted-for-2020

Colorado State University (CSU)ABOVE-AVERAGE SEASON – led by Dr. Phil Klotzbach they call for 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes. A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or higher (115-plus-mph winds) on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. There’s a 69% chance for at least one major hurricane to make landfall along U.S. shores, compared with an average over the last century of 52%, CSU researchers said. There is a 95% chance — the average is 84% — that at least 1 hurricane this year will make landfall in the US. CSU bases this active season off a transition to neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña) or potentially even weak La Niña conditions by this summer or fall and above average SSTs. Entire forecast: http://tropical.colostate.edu/media/sites/111/2020/04/2020-04.pdf

Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. (TSR)ABOVE-AVERAGE SEASON – TSR raises its extended range forecast and predicts Atlantic hurricane activity in 2020 will be 25% above the long-term norm. The are calling for 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. However, they note this outlook has large uncertainties. They point out that climate signals in August-September 2020 are showing more favorable conditions for Atlantic hurricane activity. These anticipated fields are warmer than normal tropical North Atlantic water temperatures and neutral-to-weak La Niña ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) conditions. Entire forecast: http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/docs/TSRATLForecastApr2020.pdf

Penn State ESSC ABOVE-AVERAGE SEASON – PSU calls for 15 to 24 named storms this year. Their best estimate is 20 storms. PSU team of scientists, which include renowned climate scientist Michael E. Mann, said we could be looking at one of the most active hurricane seasons on record. The assumptions behind this forecast are (SST) anomalies, development of mild El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-negative conditions and climatological mean conditions for the North Atlantic Oscillation. Entire forecast: http://www.essc.psu.edu/essc_web/research/Hurricane2020.html

North Carolina State University (NCSU)ABOVE-AVERAGE SEASON – The forecast from NCSU is predicting 18-22 named storms, 8 to 11 hurricanes and 3 to 5 of those to become major hurricanes. Lian Xie, professor of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State, believes the Gulf of Mexico may see more storm formation this year. During an average year, the Gulf typically sees three named storms develop there. In 2020, Xie feels that an above average number of storms could develop in the Gulf. His team is predicting that 6 to 10 tropical systems will develop in the Gulf of Mexico this season.

AccuWeather.comABOVE-AVERAGE SEASONUPDATE: AccuWeather increases number of hurricanes predicted for ‘very active’ 2020 Atlantic season. Based on the newest forecasting models, AccuWeather forecasters have extended the upper range of hurricanes predicted for the Atlantic hurricane season. The hurricane team, led by Dan Kottlowski, the company’s top hurricane expert, is now predicting 14 to 20 tropical storms, with additions also to the number of storms that become hurricanes: seven to 11 this season. Kottlowski also increased the number of major hurricanes – Category 3 or higher – that could develop this season to four to six. Kottlowski warned that four to six named tropical systems could make direct impacts on the U.S mainland, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Original Forecast: AccuWeather is calling for 14-18 storms during this upcoming season. Of those storms, 7 to 9 are forecast to become hurricanes, and 2 to 4 are predicted to strengthen into major hurricanes. Led by Dan Kottlowksi, AccuWeather’s top hurricane expert and fellow meteorologists will keep a watchful eye on parts of the Caribbean Sea and areas east of the Bahamas, where the water is already very warm. Water temperatures in the Caribbean have already hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit in late March, according to data from a NOAA station. Entire forecast: http://www.accuweather.com/en/hurricane/accuweathers-2020-atlantic-hurricane-season-forecast/705233

WeatherBELL.comABOVE-AVERAGE SEASONWeatherBell is also calling for 14-20 named storms, 7 to 11 hurricanes and 3 to 6 of those to strengthen into major hurricanes. They note that there are many similarities to some notable hyperactive seasons like 2005 and a warm Atlantic Basin is already in place and no El Niño is expected. With the warm Atlantic Basin SSTs already in place, no El Niño, and an upward motion forecast that looks like a favorable MJO pattern for the hurricane season, this first “vision” of 2020 is for a big season. Entire forecast: http://www.weatherbell.com/prelim-2020-hurricane-season-forecast

Global Weather Oscillations (GWO)ABOVE-AVERAGE SEASON – GWO’s prediction calls for 16 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 to 4 major hurricanes. They note the United States can expect 5 named storms to make landfall, with 2 or 3 hurricane landfalls – one of which will likely be a major category 3 hurricane. Professor David Dilley – senior research scientist for GWO, says several favorable meteorological and climatological factors are in place to produce another above average hurricane season this year. Some of the factors include a 72-year ClimatePulse Hurricane Landfall Enhancement Cycle – coupled with the continuance of above normal warm Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico water temperatures – and the lack of either a moderate or strong El Niño to subdue the hurricane seasons. Entire forecast: http://www.globalweatheroscillations.com/

Here are your 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Names: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine ,Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred!!!

Note: There is no strong correlation between the number of storms or hurricanes and U.S. landfalls in any given season. One or more of the named storms forecast to develop this season could hit the U.S., or none at all. Therefore, residents of the coastal United States should prepare each year no matter the forecast.

A couple of classic examples of why you need to be prepared each year occurred in 1992 and 1983. The 1992 season produced only six named storms and one subtropical storm. However, one of those named storms was Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida as a Category 5 hurricane. In 1983 there were only four named storms, but one of them was Alicia. The Category 3 hurricane hit the Houston-Galveston area and caused almost as many direct fatalities there as Andrew did in South Florida.

In contrast, the 2010 season was active. There were 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes that formed in the Atlantic Basin. Despite the large number of storms that year, not a single hurricane and only one tropical storm made landfall in the United States.

In other words, a season can deliver many storms, but have little impact, or deliver few storms and have one or more hitting the U.S. coast with major impact. So ALWAYS BE ALERT AND PREPARED NO MATTER WHAT THE FORECAST IS! You can rely on Track The Tropics EVERY YEAR to bring you the latest and most accurate information on Hurricane Season 24/7… STAY TUNED!!

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