The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins today, and forecasters predict a busier than normal season this year.

A conference call last week conducted by Levy County Emergency Management took a look at the numbers, going off the widely-used Colorado State University projections. This year’s forecast predicts 16 named storms, eight of which are expected to become hurricanes. Of those, four are projected to be Category 3 or higher.

By comparison, there were 18 names storms last year of which six turned into hurricanes and three were Category 3 or higher. Between 1981-2010, there have been an average of 13 named storms a year, seven hurricanes and three that are Category 3 or higher.

Levy County Emergency Management stresses there is no correlation between the forecast and direct impact to Levy County. Not a single storm could make landfall in or around the county; conversely, Hurricane Hermine in 2016 was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since 2005 and the first to develop in the Gulf of Mexico since 2013.

Initially dismissed as posing little threat to the state, Hermine hooked around and hit the Panhandle. It caused significant structural damage in Citrus County, as well as causing heavy flooding and damage in Cedar Key and other coastal areas.

For disaster preparation tips, including putting a plan together or assembling a kit, go to our Emergency & Disaster Readiness page. Scroll down to to the section on hurricane readiness.