Was the 2020 hurricane season a record breaking year? Yes, the season saw 30 named storms with 18 reaching tropical storm status and 12 reaching hurricane status.
While the Atlantic Basin and central Caribbean Sea were quieter than normal, the northern Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico were both extremely active.
The area between Lake Charles, LA and New Orleans was impacted by several major systems causing extensive damage. In fact, Lake Charles saw two major hurricanes within 3 weeks of each other, and several smaller category storms passed near the area after the double impact.
The active 2020 season began on May 16 with the naming of Tropical Storm Arthur and the season ended on November 15 with Hurricane Iota which reached major category status.
During the month of August, there were 7 active storms being tracked by the National Hurricane Center at the same time.
Other interesting facts about this year is the fact that the NHC had to use 9 Greek alphabet names after running out of official named storms, and the fact that there were storms reaching major category status well in to the middle of November which is quite rare.
It’s not uncommon to see hurricanes in November, but it’s rare to see them reach category 3 or higher.
Additionally, the naming of Arthur in early May is an outlier for the Atlantic as this region usually doesn’t see named storms till around June.
Using the comments below, lets discuss this year.
There’s no doubt the 2020 season will be studied extensively by the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, and other weather researchers to identify global conditions which likely led to this active season.
What is clear, going back to 2018, the United States Caribbean, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico regions are seeing more frequent storms reaching major category status which is already having impacts on coastal regions.
Here in North Carolina, there are several studies being done right now to assess beach erosion and beach nourishment after tropical systems.
Additionally, there are several national home builder groups sounding the alarm over the growing desire for people to build large oceanfront homes which will likely lead to problems if seasons like this year become normal.
Furthermore, many climate change groups, meteorologists, and conservationist are having the same discussion about potential impacts on marine ecosystems if this trend continues.
What are your thoughts?
What weather patterns do you see existing this year to create such an active season?
Why do you think the United States Gulf Coast, Caribbean, and Atlantic Ocean are seeing more frequent storms reaching major category status in the past 5 years?
What does the future of building elaborate multi-million dollar homes as close to the oceanfront as possible look like extending out another 10 years?
What’s happening in your local area to address beach erosion and nourishment, and to abate the loss of shorelines across the country?
If tropical cyclones continue to be more frequent and strong, and records continue to be broken like it was in 2020, will it affect your decision to buy a home or other property near coastal regions?