NEW ORLEANS — The record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season ended November 30.
The season was expected to be very active, and it was. This season broke a lot of records.
It was the first season with 30 named storms which broke the old record of 28 set in 2005. An average hurricane season has twelve named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
For the second time in history, the National Hurricane Center had to use the Greek alphabet for storm names. One of those storms, Hurricane Iota, became the latest forming Category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic. It formed on Nov. 16, breaking a record from 1932.
Another broken record: the most named storms that made landfall in the United States. This season’s number of twelve shatters the old record of nine named storms set in 1916.
Five of those storms made landfall in Louisiana, which also set a record. The previous record was four storms making landfall in Louisiana in 2002. The following storms made landfall in Louisiana in 2020:
- Tropical Storm Cristobal
- Tropical Storm Marco
- Cat. 4 Hurricane Laura
- Cat. 2 Hurricane Delta
- Cat. 2 Hurricane Zeta
Hurricane Laura tied as the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in Louisiana with 150 mph maximum sustained winds at landfall.
Forecasters expected this season to be active, but the final totals were still higher than many forecasts before the season. A La Nina global weather pattern developed which can lead to active hurricane seasons. This causes weak wind shear across the tropical Atlantic basin.
There was also a warm phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (warmer than normal Atlantic water temperatures) that led to stronger and longer-lasting storms.
Lastly, there was a stronger than normal west African Monsoon. This led to stronger tropical waves coming off Africa and moving across the tropics.
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