Triple-I Update: 2020’s Atlantic Hurricane Season to Have ‘Well Above-Average’ Activity


For immediate release
New York Press Office: (917) 923-8245;

NEW YORK, June 4, 2020— An updated 2020 hurricane season forecast released today by the Tropical Meteorology Project in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU) calls for a “well above-average” level of tropical cyclone activity.

Led by Phil Klotzbach, PhD, also a non-resident scholar at the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), the CSU forecast team initially released its 2020 prediction in April of this year. Klotzbach will discuss the updated CSU forecast in more detail during the Triple-I’s “Preparing Your Community for Hurricane Season” presentation at the virtual 2020 National Hurricane Conference today (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m., ET.

In its updated forecast, CSU now anticipates 19 named storms (up from 16 in April and including the three named storms that have already formed) and nine hurricanes (up from eight) while keeping its estimate at four major (Category 3-4-5; sustained winds of at least 111 mph) hurricanes for the 2020 season, which officially started on June 1 and continues through Nov. 30. A typical hurricane season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

“This year’s pandemic, and the civil unrest of recent weeks, have understandably distracted much of the public’s attention away from the risks they face from natural disasters. But history shows virtually our entire Atlantic and Gulf coastlines have been hit by a hurricane at one point or another. All it takes is one storm to make it an active season for you and your family so now is the time to get your property and your hurricane preparedness kit ready,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I.

“Homeowners and business owners should review their policies with their insurance professional to ensure they have the right amount of coverage to protect their properties from damage caused by either wind or water. That also means exploring whether they need flood coverage, which is not part of a standard homeowners, renters or business policy. Additionally, they should take steps to make their homes more resilient to windstorms and torrential rain, such as installing roof tie-downs and a good drainage system,” Kevelighan added.

Flood policies are offered through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and several private insurers. The installation of a wind-rated garage door and storm shutters also boost a home’s resilience to a hurricane.

Other hurricane season preparation tips from the Triple-I include: 

CSU’s updated forecast is based on a new extended-range early June scheme that was developed using 38 years of past data. He noted atmospheric conditions are favorable for tropical development this season. The forecast indicates there is a 70 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall in the continental U.S., which is considerably more than the long-term average of ~50 percent. CSU’s updated forecast also includes the three named storms which have already formed this year: Tropical Storms Arthur, Bertha and Cristobal. Cristobal was the earliest forming 3rd Atlantic named storm on record.

“We do not anticipate El Niño conditions this summer or fall,” Klotzbach said. “When it occurs, upper level westerly winds tear apart hurricanes as they are trying to develop and intensify in the Atlantic basin. Additionally, portions of the tropical Atlantic are warmer than normal and the subtropical Atlantic is much warmer than the normal, providing more fuel for developing hurricanes.”


Triple-I Facts+ Statistics

Background On
Hurricanes and Windstorm Deductibles

Consumer Information
Hurricane Season Insurance Checklist
How to Prepare for Hurricane Season
Hurricane Season Insurance Guide
Preparing an Effective Evacuation Plan
Understanding Your Insurance Deductible
Brochure: Settling Insurance Claims After A Disaster
Facts About Flood Insurance
Recovering from a Flood

What Are Hurricane Deductibles?
How to Prepare for Hurricane Season
How to File a Flood Insurance Claim
Is Your Business Ready for Peak Hurricane Season?

External Resources
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
NFIP Information for Insurance Agents

Dr. Phil Klotzbach’s Update on the 2020 Hurricane Season
Hurricane Insurance Guide
Hurricanes, Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19
Create A Home Inventory  

The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its YouTube Channel. Information about I.I.I. mobile apps can be found here.


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