Thursday 26 November, 2020

With just over a month left, 2020 hurricane season has broken records

There is just over one month left in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends November 30, but this season has broken numerous records.

By early October, the average storm count is usually between 10 and 11 and the average storm count for a full season is 13. So, at 26, we've had two full average seasons' worth of storms in 2020, so far. 

Forecasters ran out of traditional names on September 18, when 3 storms went on record for the same day (a record-breaker) and went to the Greek alphabet for storms Alpha and Beta. Then Delta became a Category 4 hurricane. 

Tropical Storm Epsilon, which formed early yesterday is the earliest Epsilon to form in the Atlantic. The last time that happened was in 2005, when Epsilon formed at the end of November.

So far this year, there have been 26 named storms, including nine hurricanes and of those, three major hurricanes. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is nearing an all-time record for the number of storms.

Further, it broke the records, for the first: C-named storm, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, V and W named storms. Of these, it was the first M storm to ever form in August and the first S, T, V and W storms to ever form in September.

This year also had the most storms on record ever, by August 1--- 9!

The last time the Greek alphabet was used in the Atlantic was in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina. With a total of 27 storms that year, the first six letters of the Greek alphabet were used: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta. We are one storm away from tying with that record with more than a month left to do so.

2020 may be just short of 2005's total, but it's on a record pace. Through October 20, the 2005 hurricane season generated 23 storms – three fewer than 2020, so far.

If the rest of the season is just average, we would expect another two to three storms. That would take the season's tally to 28 or 29 storms, equaling or topping the 2005 record and taking us through Eta or Theta in the Greek alphabet.

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