Expert says ‘above-normal’ hurricane seasons could become norm

From speaking Greek to counting well into double digits, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is a record breaker. As we bid farewell to it, the big question is what can we expect next season?

It’s possible next hurricane season could be as active it was this year, and experts predict these more active seasons becoming the norm.

“I think we had the weirdest storm of my life in this last one,” said Anita Cereceda, former mayor of Fort Myers Beach.

Cereceda has lived through her share of hurricane seasons.

“I think we fared very well given the number of storms,” Cereceda said.

While Florida fared well, other parts of the country and the world saw major impacts from storms.

“When we breathe a sigh of relief, somebody else is hunkering down and worried, and it’s just, you know, you never like to see it no matter what,” Cereceda said.

FGCU professor Joanne Muller, who studies hurricanes and climate, believes we can’t let our guard down.

“The things that cause more frequent hurricanes and more intense hurricanes, they’re not going away anytime soon,” Muller said.

Muller points to factors, including La Nina, causing less wind shear this year and rising sea surface temperatures in critical areas, such as the Gulf, the Caribbean and Africa’s coast.

“If you think about sea surface temperatures and warm water kind of as the fuel for a hurricane, we’re essentially providing these storms almost like rocket fuel,” Muller explained.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season broke the record for most named storms since record keeping for major storms began with 30. The 2005 season had 28.

Muller thinks above-normal seasons could become the norm.

“The last five years, we’ve seen the same thing,” Muller said. “We’ve seen above-normal seasons with hurricanes.”

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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