Tracking the Tropics: Record-breaking 2020 hurricane season drawing to a close

Tracking the Tropics

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — We’re less than a week away from the official end of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and it’s safe to say everybody is ready to say “good riddance” to this year’s hyperactive and record-breaking tropical activity.

This year’s hurricane season has been well above-average with a total of 30 named storms. Of those storms, 13 were hurricanes and six were major hurricanes.

The Atlantic basin blew through the alphabet of storm names this year and had to turn to the Greek alphabet by mid-September. The last time we had to use the Greek alphabet was the 2005 hurricane season. This year’s activity shattered the 2005 record of 28 named storms in a season.

Here are the storms we saw this season:

Tropical Storm Arthur formed before the hurricane season officially started. The National Hurricane Center tracked it from May 16 through May 19 and reached maximum winds of 60 mph. Tropical Storm Bertha also formed before the start of the season and was around from May 27 to May 28. Bertha reached maximum winds of 50 mph.

The hurricane season officially started on June 1, which is the same date the NHC started tracking Tropical Storm Cristobal. Cristobal reached maximum wind speeds of 60 mph and made landfall along the Gulf Coast on June 7.

Tropical Storm Dolly was tracked from June 22 to June 24 and had maximum winds of 45 mph. Tropical Storm Edouard also had maximum winds of 45 mph and was tracked from July 4 through July 6.

Tropical Storm Fay lasted from July 9 through July 11 and made landfall in New Jersey. The storm reached maximum winds of 60 mph.

Tropical Storm Gonzalo reached maximum winds of 65 mph and lasted from July 21 through July 25.

Hurricane Hanna was the first named storm of the season to reach hurricane strength. It reached max winds of 90 mph and was in the Atlantic basin from July 23 through July 27. Hanna made landfall in Texas.

Hurricane Isaias was around from July 30 through Aug. 5 and reached maximum winds of 85 mph. Isaias lashed Florida’s east coast with heavy rains and eventually made landfall in North Carolina.

Tropical Storm Josephine formed in the Atlantic in mid-August shortly before Tropical Storm Kyle formed. Josephine reached maximum winds of 45 mph while Kyle reached 50 mph.

Hurricane Laura was the first storm of the 2020 season to reach major hurricane strength. At its strongest point, Laura was a Category 4 hurricane with maximum winds of 150 mph. Laura was around from Aug. 20 through Aug. 28 and made landfall along the Gulf Coast near the Texas and Louisiana border.

The NHC also started tracking Marco on Aug. 20. Marco reached hurricane strength with 75 mph winds but weakened to a tropical storm before making landfall along the Gulf Coast.

Hurricane Nana was around from Sept. 1 through Sept. 4 and reached wind speeds of 75 mph. Tropical Storm Omar reached wind speeds of 40 mph and was tracked from Aug. 31 through Sept. 5.

Hurricane Paulette initially formed on Sept. 7. At its strongest point, Paulette had wind speeds of 105 mph. The NHC stopped issuing advisories on Sept. 16 when the system became an “extratropical cyclone.” But on Sept. 22, the NHC said the storm had regenerated into a “zombie” tropical storm.

Teddy was the second storm of the season to reach major hurricane strength with 140 mph winds. The NHC tracked the system from Sept. 12 through Sept. 22.

Tropical Storm Vicky and Tropical Storm Wilfred claimed the last two letters of the alphabet on the 2020 storm names list. Vicky reached 50 mph max winds while Wilfred reached 40 mph.

Subtropical Storm Alpha, the first storm named after a letter in the Greek alphabet since 2005, was a short-lived system that reached 50 mph.

Tropical Storm Beta lasted from Sept. 17 through Sept. 22 and reached 60 mph. Beta made landfall along the coast of Texas. Tropical Storm Gamma was around from Oct. 2 through Oct. 5 and reached wind speeds of 70 mph.

Hurricane Delta reached major hurricane strength with 145 mph winds. It made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on the Louisiana coast on Oct. 9. Hurricane Epsilon also reached major hurricane strength with winds of 115 mph, but did not impact the United States.

Hurricane Zeta was around from Oct. 24 through Oct. 29 and reached wind speeds of 110 mph. Zeta made landfall along the Louisiana Coast as a Category 2 storm.

Hurricane Eta impacted Florida in early November after battering Central America. It made landfall in the Florida Keys as a tropical storm on Nov. 8 before making a second landfall as a tropical storm north of the Tampa Bay area on Florida’s west coast.

Tropical Storm Theta was around from Nov. 10 through Nov. 15. It did not impact the United States. Hurricane Iota did not impact the United States either but hit Central America as a “catastrophic” hurricane near where Eta hit just weeks before.

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