The already record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is going to get worse, and forecasters could run out of names for storms, government meteorologists say.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its forecast Thursday and is now predicting up to 25 named storms with as many as 11 becoming hurricanes and possibly six building into major hurricanes with winds of 178 kilometers per hour or stronger.
An average number of Atlantic storms is 12.
"First and foremost, oceanic and atmospheric conditions are now even more hospitable for hurricane formation and intensification,” lead hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell said. “These conditions are predicted to continue for the next several months. Also, weather and climate models are all now indicating an even higher potential for an extremely active season.”
NOAA says if the updated forecast pans out, it will run out of names for storms. If that happens, names would be taken from the Greek alphabet.
Hurricane Isaias, which hit the Eastern Seaboard this week, was the earliest storm to start with the letter “I” since storms started getting names in 1950.
The U.S. Atlantic hurricane season traditionally runs from June 1 until November 30. Weather experts say the most powerful storms usually come in September.