Thirty of them, in fact.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season had a record 30 named storms. Twelve made landfall in the continental U.S., including five in Louisiana.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30 (that’s next week, so fingers crossed there isn’t a Thanksgiving surprise), but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its end-of-season report on Tuesday.
“The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season ramped up quickly and broke records across the board,” Neil Jacobs, acting NOAA administrator, said in a news release.
There were a record nine named storms from May through July. Then 10 named storms formed in September; the most for any month on record.
On Sept. 18, Tropical Storm Wilfred exhausted the pre-selected 21 names for this Atlantic hurricane season. For only the second time in history, the Greek alphabet was required to name subsequent storms.
Hurricane Laura was the strongest storm to make landfall in the U.S., coming ashore near Cameron, La., on Aug. 27 as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.
Nicaragua was hit with two Category 4 storms: Hurricane Eta on Nov. 3 with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph and Hurricane Iota on Nov. 16 with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph.
A “normal” year has 12 named storms. We’re in a period of warmer sea surface temperatures, and that’s a phase that can last a couple of decades. So it’s probably not going to get much better any time soon, and that’s before we bring up that pesky climate change thing. And the US got off relatively easy while places like Nicaragua got slammed. Since Donald Trump couldn’t find Nicaragua on a map if you drew him an arrow pointing to it with a red Sharpie, let’s hope that the Biden administration will offer some support and relief. And also that we’ll get started on building that Ike Dike. Here’s a timeline if you want to relive the 2020 storm season.