Title: 2020 - Atlantic Hurricane Season: Past events, current situation, seasonal forecast and COVID-19 situation
Authors: PROBST PAMELAANNUNZIATO ALESSANDROPROIETTI CHIARAFONIO CHIARASANTINI MARZIAPARIS STEFANOGIUSTOLISI LUCA
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC121004
ISBN: 978-92-76-19625-9 (online)
ISSN: 1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 30259 EN
OP KJ-NA-30259-EN-N (online)
URI: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC121004
DOI: 10.2760/713400
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The official “Atlantic Hurricane Season” (North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico) starts on 1 June and ends on 30 November. On average, 12 “named storms” (Tropical Storm or higher strength) occur each season, with an average of 6 becoming Hurricanes and 3 Major Hurricanes, while the climatological peak of activity is around 10 September. The Tropical Cyclones (TCs) could affect several vulnerable islands of the Caribbean area, causing damage and fatalities that could require international assistance from the humanitarian community. The past five seasons (2015-2019) have been analysed considering the TCs impact and the international humanitarian support provided. For the most significant events (e.g. MATTHEW in 2016, IRMA and MARIA in 2017, DORIAN in 2019), the Global Disasters Alerts and Coordination System (GDACS) issued a RED alert (at least three days in advance), timely alerting the international community. According to the official NOAA’s 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlooks, as well as most of the other seasonal forecasts published by other agencies, the TC activity for this season is forecasted to be above average. However, given the large uncertainty associated with the long term forecasts those estimations should be considered only indicative. NOAA will update its seasonal forecast in August 2020 before the typical peak of the season. This year the COVID-19 pandemic emergency is likely to affect the preparedness and response activities for the Hurricane season. It is therefore essential to consider it, adapting the evacuation plans and preparing people well in advance to follow new guidelines due to this multi-risks and complex situation. The guidelines might vary across countries, depending on the spread of the virus and the adopted containment measures. This report provides an update of the current pandemic emergency in the area and an overview of the guidelines issued so far. In this context, an Early Warnings System able to estimate the correct impact of TCs well in advance is even more essential for decision makers to take more informed decisions and make plans accordingly, also considering the potential effects of the climate change on the TCs activity. JRC is closely monitoring the TCs situation through GDACS (www.gdacs.org). The COVID-19 emergency is also monitored, through the JRC COVID-19 Dashboard (https://covid-statistics.jrc.ec.europa.eu/), which covers also the Caribbean, and other activities. In addition, JRC has also prepared a new GDACS section on the COVID-19 situation in the affected countries.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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