Third named storm likely as 2020 Atlantic hurricane season begins

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway as of Monday, June 1 and a third named storm could already be on the way.

Weather experts are predicting an above-average season this year for states along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center are predicting between 13 and 19 named storms and six to 10 hurricanes. Of the hurricanes that develop, NOAA predicts three to six will be major hurricanes – Category 3 or above.

The Atlantic has already seen two named storms so far in 2020 – and a third could be on the way this week.

Tropical Storm Arthur developed in the middle of May and brought rain to parts of the Carolinas.

About a week after Arthur dissipated, Tropical Storm Bertha formed. Bertha made landfall along the coast of South Carolina on May 27.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami is now tracking Tropical Depression Three near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

If the system develops further, it will be named Cristobal. If it develops before Friday, it will be the earliest third named storm of an Atlantic season since we started naming storms.

As we head into hurricane season, emergency management officials are urging people to be prepared. And the NHC is stressing the importance for the public to pay attention to all aspects of storms – especially the water.

“(People) always talk about the wind and the reality is, you look at history, 90% of fatalities in these tropical systems historically is the water,” NHC Director Ken Graham said. “Half of those – storm surge, which we evacuate for. But the other part is the inland part – the rainfall inland. And we look at that and 2016, 2017, 2018 – 83% of the fatalities were inland flooding, half of those in automobiles.”

Tracking the Tropics will provide weekly weather updates throughout the Atlantic hurricane season featuring meteorologists from across the country. Watch every Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET.

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