A year in review: the historic 2020 hurricane season

Weather Blog

This year’s hurricane season was historic. While other seasons produced stronger or more deadly hurricanes, this season will be remembered for the sheer number of records broken. More storms than ever. Earlier than ever. More landfalls than ever. In other words… it was busy. 

It was evident early on that this season would be active- but no one could possibly expect just how active. The season began ahead of its official start with Arthur in May, Bertha following shortly after- quickly forming just off our coast and bringing us our first taste of the tropics this year. It wouldn’t be the last. Isaias grazed the Lowcountry in August, mostly sparing us from major impacts as it passed by roughly 50 miles offshore- a closer pass than Dorian or Matthew, but this storm was much weaker.  

While we avoided any significant impacts this season, as we always say- it only takes one storm to hit for it to be a “bad season”- and unfortunately, Louisiana saw much more than one. Out of the record shattering dozen storms to make landfall in the US this season, 5 occurred in Louisiana- two hitting nearly the same spot a month apart. By mid September, we exhausted the list of names for the season and moved into the Greek alphabet- making it all the way to Iota before the season mercifully came to an end nearly a month ago. 

In all, 30 storms formed- 2 more than the previous record set back in 2005. Many of the other records broken this year also came from 2005, a year marked by storms such as Katrina- the effects of which are still being felt today- 15 years later. There were four Category 5 hurricanes in 2005, this year just one, the last one- Iota reached Category 5 strength. Again, while this year did not match the intensity of other, less active seasons, it was still active! Every single inch of the US Atlantic coast was under a watch or warning at some point this season- illustrating an ever-present source of anxiety in a year that did not need any other sources of stress! We hope that our forecasts helped provide some relief as we guided you through this historic season, and you can count on us to guide you through the next.

Storm Team 2 Meteorologist David Dickson

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