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Tropical Storm Kyle: Why this year’s Hurricane season could be most active yet

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Tropical Storm Kyle is forecast to smash into the UK this week, after forming just off the US East Coast at the weekend. Its remnants will head across the North Atlantic and form an unseasonably strong extratropical cyclone, according to

Already, the season has sparked interest due to a record-setting nine storms being recorded up to August 6, when the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a statement on the busy period.

This is more than four times the average number of storms to form by early August.

However, many more storms are due, with the NOAA’s updated outlook predicting up to 25 named storms – of which as many as 6 could become major hurricanes with wind speeds exceeding 110 mph.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said: “This is one of the most active seasonal forecasts that NOAA has produced in its 22-year history of hurricane outlooks.

“NOAA will continue to provide the best possible science and service to communities across the Nation for the remainder of hurricane season to ensure public readiness and safety.

“We encourage all Americans to do their part by getting prepared, remaining vigilant, and being ready to take action when necessary.”

The six-month hurricane season ends on November 30, the NOAA added.

Kerry Emanuel, professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told why the storms may have picked up at this particular time.

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He suggested a combination of factors had come together to make the storm season so hectic.

Professor Emanuel said: “All the factors are aligned for a busy Atlantic hurricane season this year.

“It now appears that the “hurricane drought” of the 1970s and 80s was a result of man-made aerosols, a product of fossil fuel combustion.

“They reflect sunlight and cool the surface. They ramped up very quickly after WWII and peaked in the late 70s, then declined just as fast as a results of various clean air acts passed in the U.S. and in Europe.

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“The Atlantic ocean temperatures closely followed this pattern, decreasing into the early 80s and then rising, and with it, hurricane activity.

“The AMO that NOAA alludes to now appears to have a period of around 10 years and also affects Atlantic hurricane activity.

“On top of all of this is global warming, which tends to make hurricane stronger, though not necessarily more frequent.”

Researchers say warmer-than-average sea temperatures in the tropical Atlantic – and the re-appearance of something called the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation in 1995 – are current conditions making the season so active.

The Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation is a phenomena in which the surface temperature of the Atlantic Ocean goes through hot and cold periods which can last between 20 and 40 years each time.

In addition, the NOAA said July 2020 was the second-hottest July ever recorded for the globe, and the Northern Hemisphere did see its hottest July ever.

However, Dr Gerry Bell, Meteorologist at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, denied climate change was a factor in the NOAA’s hurricane season prediction.

He told “We are calling for 19-25 storms. The outlook is not a landfall prediction. We don’t know how many will make landfall. Global warming is not a factor in our prediction.

“2020 is predicted to be typical of the many very active seasons we have seen since 1995.”

Dr Bell had said in early August the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index – which measures how long and severe all named storms are in a given season – is be “well above NOAA’s threshold for an extremely active season”.

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