By Unzela Khan, The Daily Star (UK)
With the coronavirus pandemic and western wildfires affecting parts of the world, experts now predict a major Atlantic hurricane in 2020.
A meteorologist says the region is yet to see the worst of an active hurricane season because of the conditions of warm ocean water and weather patterns.
States along the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico will bear the brunt of the stormy season.
Phil Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University, said: “Things are unfortunately shaping up to be an active hurricane season in the Atlantic, which is probably not what people are wanting to hear.”
According to National Geographic, 12 names storms form yearly – however this year forecasters predict anywhere from 13 to 19 major storms.
From these, six could become major hurricanes.
The season, which has already begun, brought in Hurricane Hanna in South Texas and meteorologists are also predicting Tropical Storm Isaiah across the east of the Caribbean.
Colorado State University has predicted four major hurricanes this year.
A major hurricane is classed as category three or higher, with winds above 111 miles per hour.
Conditions are “ripe” for these major hurricanes because of the temperature and wind.
Where water is warm, it acts like a fuel for hurricanes – and so far the temperatures have been above average along the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea.
In hurricane-prone states such as Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana, hospitalisations due to Covid-19 are expected to continue well into the summer.
If a hurricane strikes, people will crowd into shelters, which will hugely increase the risk of infection. Hotels – often the first port of call for families whose homes have flooded or lost power – are all currently closed.
2017’s Hurricane Maria worsened a flu outbreak in Puerto Rico that killed at least 30 children.