What the active 2020 Hurricane Season means for the northeast this winter

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The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season has been one for the record books. As Tropical Storm Zeta heads towards the Gulf Coast it is the 27th named storm of the season and will mark the 11th storm to make landfall in the United States this year. Breaking the record of 9 that was previously set over one hundred years ago in 1916.

2020 is only one storm away from tying the all time record for number of storms in a given season set in 2005 with 28 storms. It also marks the first year a Greek named storm made landfall on record in the United States. Later this week we could have our third as Zeta takes aim for the northern Gulf Coast.

What exactly is driving all of this activity in the Atlantic Basin? Well it stems from a large scale weather pattern known as La Niña. Meteorologist Mark Pellerito from the National Weather Service in Binghamton helped explain, “La Niña is when you have cooler than average temperatures in the Eastern Pacific Ocean down by the equator. What we have seen develop in the last couple months is we have slipped into a weak La Niña pattern. And the forecast projections are for it to be a weak to moderate La Niña through the coming winter.”

We entered a La Niña pattern a couple months ago but what exactly can we expect as we begin a new season and head into winter for us in the northeast?

“Overall we are expecting near to slightly above average precipitation amounts. Near average seasonal snowfall totals. A winter with average precipitation and temperatures is often perceived as cold and snowy because that is our weather. That is what we get,” said Pellerito.

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