2020 Atlantic hurricane season

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active and the fifth costliest Atlantic hurricane season on record. In addition, it was the fifth consecutive above average Atlantic hurricane season from 2016 onward. The season featured a total of 31 (sub)tropical cyclones, all but one of which became a named storm. Of the 30 named storms, 13 developed into hurricanes, and six further intensified into major hurricanes, with one, Hurricane Iota, attaining Category 5 strength on the Saffir–Simpson scale.[nb 1] It was the second season to use the Greek letter storm naming system, the first being 2005. Of the 30 named storms, 12 of them made landfall in the contiguous United States, breaking the record of nine set in 1916. The season was also the fifth consecutive season in which at least one Category 5 hurricane formed. During the season, 27 tropical storms established a new record for the earliest formation by storm number. This season also featured a record 10 tropical cyclones that underwent rapid intensification, tying it with 1995.[2] This unprecedented activity was fueled by a La Niña that developed in the summer months of 2020.

2020 Atlantic hurricane season
2020 Atlantic hurricane season summary map.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedMay 16, 2020
Last system dissipatedNovember 18, 2020
Strongest storm
NameIota
 • Maximum winds160 mph (260 km/h)
(1-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure917 mbar (hPa; 27.08 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions31 (record high, tied with 2005)
Total storms30 (record high)
Hurricanes13
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
6
Total fatalities≥ 431 total
Total damage> $51.146 billion (2020 USD)
Related articles
Atlantic hurricane seasons
2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

The season officially started on June 1 and officially ended on November 30. However, storm formation is possible at any time of the year, as demonstrated in 2020 by the early formation of Tropical Storms Arthur and Bertha, on May 16 and 27, respectively. This marked the record sixth consecutive year with a pre-season system. Tropical Storm Cristobal caused 15 deaths across Louisiana and Mexico. The first hurricane, Hurricane Hanna, made landfall in Texas. Hurricane Isaias formed on July 31, and made landfall in The Bahamas and North Carolina in early August, both times as a Category 1 hurricane; Isaias caused $4.8 billion in damage overall.[nb 2] In late August, Laura made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, becoming the strongest tropical cyclone on record in terms of wind speed to make landfall in Louisiana, alongside the 1856 Last Island hurricane.[3] Laura caused at least $19 billion in damage and 77 deaths. September was the most active month on record in the Atlantic, with ten named storms. A slow-moving Hurricane Sally impacted the US Gulf Coast, causing severe flooding. The Greek alphabet was used for only the second time, starting with Subtropical Storm Alpha, which made landfall in Portugal. On the last day of October, Hurricane Eta formed and made landfall in Central America at Category 4 strength on November 3.[4] Eta ultimately led to the death of at least 189 people and caused $7.9 billion USD in damage. Then, on November 10, Tropical Storm Theta became the record-breaking 29th named storm of the season and, three days later, Hurricane Iota formed in the Caribbean. It rapidly intensified to Category 5 intensity on November 16, the latest Category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean. This also made 2020 the only recorded season with two major hurricanes in November.[5] Iota ultimately made landfall in the same general area of Central America that Eta had just weeks earlier and caused catastrophic damage.

Early in the year, officials in the United States expressed concerns the hurricane season could potentially exacerbate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for U.S. coastal residents.[6][7] As expressed in an op-ed of the Journal of the American Medical Association, "there exists an inherent incompatibility between strategies for population protection from hurricane hazards: evacuation and sheltering (i.e., transporting and gathering people together in groups)," and "effective approaches to slow the spread of COVID-19: physical distancing and stay-at-home orders (i.e., separating and keeping people apart)."[8]

Seasonal forecasts

Predictions of tropical activity in the 2020 season
Source Date Named
storms
Hurricanes Major
hurricanes
Ref
Average (1981–2010) 12.1 6.4 2.7 [9]
Record high activity 30 15 7 [10]
Record low activity 4 2 0 [10]
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
TSR December 19, 2019 15 7 4 [11]
CSU April 2, 2020 16 8 4 [12]
TSR April 7, 2020 16 8 3 [13]
UA April 13, 2020 19 10 5 [14]
TWC April 15, 2020 18 9 4 [15]
NCSU April 17, 2020 18–22 8–11 3–5 [16]
PSU April 21, 2020 15–24 n/a n/a [17]
SMN May 20, 2020 15–19 7–9 3–4 [18]
UKMO* May 20, 2020 13* 7* 3* [19]
NOAA May 21, 2020 13–19 6–10 3–6 [20]
TSR May 28, 2020 17 8 3 [21]
CSU June 4, 2020 19 9 4 [22]
UA June 12, 2020 17 11 4 [23]
CSU July 7, 2020 20 9 4 [24]
TSR July 7, 2020 18 8 4 [25]
TWC July 16, 2020 20 8 4 [26]
CSU August 5, 2020 24 12 5 [27]
TSR August 5, 2020 24 10 4 [28]
NOAA August 6, 2020 19–25 7–11 3–6 [29]
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Actual activity
30 13 6
* June–November only
† Most recent of several such occurrences. (See all)

Forecasts of hurricane activity are issued before each hurricane season by noted hurricane experts, such as Philip J. Klotzbach and his associates at Colorado State University, and separately by NOAA forecasters.

Klotzbach's team (formerly led by William M. Gray) defined the average (1981 to 2010) hurricane season as featuring 12.1 tropical storms, 6.4 hurricanes, 2.7 major hurricanes (storms reaching at least Category 3 strength in the Saffir–Simpson scale), and an accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index of 106 units.[12] NOAA defines a season as above normal, near normal or below normal by a combination of the number of named storms, the number reaching hurricane strength, the number reaching major hurricane strength, and the ACE Index.[30]

Pre-season forecasts

On December 19, 2019, Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), a public consortium consisting of experts on insurance, risk management, and seasonal climate forecasting at University College London, issued an extended-range forecast predicting a slightly above-average hurricane season. In its report, the organization called for 15 named storms, 7 hurricanes, 4 major hurricanes, and an ACE index of 105 units. This forecast was based on the prediction of near-average trade winds and slightly warmer than normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the tropical Atlantic as well as a neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase in the equatorial Pacific.[11] On April 2, 2020, forecasters at Colorado State University echoed predictions of an above-average season, forecasting 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 major hurricanes, and an ACE index of 150 units. The organization posted significantly heightened probabilities for hurricanes tracking through the Caribbean and hurricanes striking the U.S. coastline.[12] TSR updated their forecast on April 7, predicting 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 3 major hurricanes, and an ACE index of 130 units.[13] On April 13, the University of Arizona (UA) predicted a potentially hyperactive hurricane season: 19 named storms, 10 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes, and accumulated cyclone energy index of 163 units.[14] A similar prediction of 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes was released by The Weather Company on April 15.[15] Following that, North Carolina State University released a similar forecast on April 17, also calling for a possibly hyperactive season with 18–22 named storms, 8–11 hurricanes and 3–5 major hurricanes.[16] On April 21 the Pennsylvania State University Earth Science System Center also predicted high numbers, 19.8 +/- total named storms, range 15–24, best estimate 20.[17]

On May 20, Mexico's Servicio Meteorológico Nacional released their forecast for an above-average season with 15–19 named storms, 7–9 hurricanes and 3–4 major hurricanes.[18] The UK Met Office released their outlook that same day, predicting average activity with 13 tropical storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes expected to develop between June and November 2020. They also predicted an ACE index of around 110 units.[19] NOAA issued their forecast on May 21, calling for a 60% chance of an above-normal season with 13–19 named storms, 6–10 hurricanes, 3–6 major hurricanes, and an ACE index between 110% and 190% of the median. They cited the ongoing warm phase of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and the expectation of continued ENSO-neutral or even La Niña conditions during the peak of the season as factors that would increase activity.[20]

Mid-season forecasts

On June 4, Colorado State University released an updated forecast, calling for 19 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.[22] On July 7, Colorado State University released another updated forecast, calling for 20 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.[24] On July 7, Tropical Storm Risk released an updated forecast, calling for 18 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.[25] On July 16, The Weather Company released an updated forecast, calling for 20 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.[26]

On August 5, Colorado State University released an additional updated forecast, their final for 2020, calling for a near-record-breaking season, predicting a total of 24 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes, citing the anomalously low wind shear and surface pressures across the basin during the month of July and substantially warmer than average tropical Atlantic and developing La Niña conditions.[31] On August 5, Tropical Storm Risk released an updated forecast, their final for 2020, also calling for a near-record-breaking season, predicting a total of 24 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes, citing the favorable July trade winds, low wind shear, warmer than average tropical Atlantic, and the anticipated La Niña.[32] The following day, NOAA released their second forecast for the season whilst calling for an "extremely active" season containing 19–25 named storms, 7–11 hurricanes, and 3–6 major hurricanes. This was one of the most active forecasts ever released by NOAA for an Atlantic hurricane season.[33]

Seasonal summary

Hurricane IotaHurricane EtaHurricane ZetaHurricane DeltaTropical Storm Gamma (2020)Subtropical Storm Alpha (2020)Tropical Storm Beta (2020)Hurricane TeddyHurricane SallyHurricane PauletteHurricane Nana (2020)Hurricane Marco (2020)Hurricane LauraHurricane IsaiasHurricane Hanna (2020)Tropical Storm Fay (2020)Tropical Storm Cristobal (2020)Tropical Storm Bertha (2020)Tropical Storm Arthur (2020)Saffir–Simpson scale

Pre/early season activity

Tropical / subtropical storm formation records
set during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season
Storm
number
Earliest Next earliest
Name Date formed Name Date formed
03[34] Cristobal June 2, 2020 Colin June 5, 2016
05[35] Edouard July 6, 2020 Emily July 11, 2005
06[36] Fay July 9, 2020 Franklin July 21, 2005
07[37] Gonzalo July 22, 2020 Gert July 24, 2005
08[38] Hanna July 24, 2020 Harvey August 3, 2005
09[36] Isaias July 30, 2020 Irene August 7, 2005
10[39] Josephine August 13, 2020 Jose August 22, 2005
11[40] Kyle August 14, 2020 Katrina August 24, 2005
12[36] Laura August 21, 2020 Luis August 29, 1995
13[41] Marco August 22, 2020 Maria September 2, 2005
Lee September 2, 2011
14[42] Nana September 1, 2020 Nate September 5, 2005
15[43] Omar September 1, 2020 Ophelia September 7, 2005
16[44] Paulette September 7, 2020 Philippe September 17, 2005
17[45] Rene September 7, 2020 Rita September 18, 2005
18[46] Sally September 12, 2020 Stan October 2, 2005
19[47] Teddy September 14, 2020 "Azores" October 4, 2005
20[48] Vicky September 14, 2020 Tammy October 5, 2005
21[49] Wilfred September 18, 2020 Vince October 8, 2005
22[50] Alpha September 18, 2020 Wilma October 17, 2005
23[50] Beta September 18, 2020 Alpha October 22, 2005
24[51] Gamma October 3, 2020 Beta October 27, 2005
25[52] Delta October 5, 2020 Gamma November 15, 2005
26[53] Epsilon October 19, 2020 Delta November 22, 2005
27[54] Zeta October 25, 2020 Epsilon November 29, 2005
28[55] Eta November 1, 2020 Zeta December 30, 2005
29[56] Theta November 10, 2020 Earliest formation by virtue of
being the first of that number
30[57] Iota November 13, 2020

Tropical cyclogenesis began in the month of May, with tropical storms Arthur and Bertha. This marked the first occurrence of two pre-season tropical storms in the Atlantic since 2016, and the first occurrence of two named storms in the month of May since 2012. Tropical Storm Cristobal formed on June 1, coinciding with the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Tropical Storm Dolly also formed in June. Tropical storms Edouard, Fay, and Gonzalo, along with hurricanes Hanna and Isaias, formed in July. Hanna became the first hurricane of the season and struck South Texas, while Isaias became the second hurricane of the season and struck much of the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States. Tropical Depression Ten also formed in late July off the coast of West Africa but quickly dissipated. July 2020 tied 2005 for the most active July on record in the basin in terms of named systems.[58][59]

Peak season activity

August saw the formations of tropical storms Josephine and Kyle, and hurricanes Laura and Marco. Marco ultimately became the third hurricane of the season, but rapidly weakened before making landfall in southeast Louisiana. Laura subsequently became the fourth hurricane, and first major hurricane of the season, before making landfall in southwest Louisiana at Category 4 strength with 150 mph (240 km/h) winds. August concluded with a tropical depression which intensified into Tropical Storm Omar on September 1.

 
Five simultaneous tropical cyclones active in the Atlantic on September 14: Sally (left), Paulette (center left), Rene (center right), Teddy (bottom right), and Vicky (far right). The waves that would later spawn Beta and Wilfred are respectively located to the left of Sally and to the bottom-right of Vicky, and the extratropical cyclone that would later become Alpha is visible north of Rene.

September featured the formations of nine depressions, which became: tropical storms Rene, Vicky, Wilfred, and Beta; Subtropical Storm Alpha; and hurricanes Nana (named a few hours prior to Omar),[60] Paulette, Sally, and Teddy. This swarm of storms coincided with the peak of the hurricane season and the development of La Niña conditions.[61][62] Paulette struck Bermuda as a Category 1 hurricane, becoming the first tropical cyclone to make landfall there since Gonzalo in 2014. Hurricane Sally made landfall near Miami, Florida as a tropical depression before causing extensive damage throughout the Southeastern United States as a Category 2 hurricane. Teddy, the season's eighth hurricane and second major hurricane formed on September 12, while Vicky formed two days later. With the formation of the latter, five tropical cyclones were simultaneously active in the Atlantic basin for the first time since 1995. Meanwhile, Hurricane Teddy went on to strike Atlantic Canada as an extremely large extratropical cyclone on September 23. Additionally, Paulette briefly reformed as a tropical storm before once again becoming post-tropical. Within a six-hour span on September 18, Wilfred, Alpha, and Beta became named systems, an event only previously recorded in 1893.[63] Alpha formed roughly 75 mi (120 km) north of Lisbon, Portugal, the easternmost point of formation ever recorded for an Atlantic tropical storm, and was the first to make landfall in Portugal.[64] Beta's intensification into a tropical storm made September 2020 the most active month on record with 10 cyclones becoming named.[65] Beta went on to impact Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi before transitioning into a remnant low over Alabama, marking an abrupt end to the 18 straight days of activity.[66]

Late season activity

 
United States tropical watches and warnings issued through November 15. Watches and warnings were issued in every coastal county except Wakulla and Jefferson in Florida.

October and November were extremely active with seven named storms, four of which intensified into major hurricanes – twice the number recorded during this period in any prior season.[67] Tropical Storm Gamma formed on October 2 before impacting the Yucatan Peninsula two days later. A few days later, Hurricane Delta developed in the Caribbean Sea south of Jamaica and became the ninth hurricane of the season. Delta explosively intensified into a strong Category 4 hurricane before weakening and making landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula on October 7 as a high-end Category 2 hurricane. It regained Category 3 status in the Gulf of Mexico before weakening again and making its second landfall in Louisiana on October 9. After 14 more days of inactivity, Tropical Storm Epsilon formed in mid-October and became the season's 10th hurricane on October 20, making 2020 the 5th Atlantic hurricane season in the satellite era (since 1966) to have at least 10 hurricanes by October 20, in addition to 1969, 1995, 2005 and 2017.[68][69][nb 3] Later that month, Hurricane Zeta formed southwest of the Cayman Islands and took a nearly identical track to Delta, striking the Yucatán Peninsula late on October 26 before turning northeastward, accelerating, and making landfall in southeast Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on October 28. The system moved rapidly across the Eastern United States, and just two days later brought heavy accumulating snow to parts of New England before moving back across the Atlantic.

List of costliest Atlantic hurricane seasons
Rank Cost Season
1 ≥ $294.703 billion 2017
2 $172.297 billion 2005
3 $72.341 billion 2012
4 $61.148 billion 2004
5 ≥ $51.146 billion 2020
6 ≥ $50.126 billion 2018
7 ≥ $48.855 billion 2008
8 $27.302 billion 1992
9 ≥ $17.485 billion 2016
10 $17.39 billion 2011

Hurricane Eta, the season's fifth major hurricane, made landfall as a Category 4 storm on November 3, along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.[73] Eta subsequently moved back into the Caribbean and restrengthened into a tropical storm before taking a winding and erratic path that went over Cuba and through the Florida Keys before stalling in the southern Gulf of Mexico. It then moved north-northeast towards the west coast of Florida, briefly restrengthening into a minimal hurricane along the way. On November 10, Subtropical Storm Theta formed from a non-tropical low over the northeastern Atlantic, before transitioning to a tropical storm later that day. Just after Eta became extratropical off the U.S. East Coast, Hurricane Iota formed over the central Caribbean on November 13, tying 2005 for the most tropical and subtropical cyclones in one year. Iota rapidly intensified into a Category 5 hurricane, becoming the strongest storm of the season; this also marked the fifth consecutive season since 2016 with at least one Category 5 hurricane. It then went on to ravage the same areas in Central America that Eta had devastated only two weeks earlier, and dissipated on November 18, over El Salvador.[74]

The 2020 season featured activity at a record pace. The season's third named storm and each one from the fifth onwards formed on an earlier date in the year than the corresponding one in any other season since reliable records began in 1851. The accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season reached 179.8 units.[75] The totals represent the sum of the squares for every (sub)tropical storm's intensity of over 33 knots (38 mph; 61 km/h), divided by 10,000. Broadly speaking, ACE is a measure of the power of a tropical or subtropical storm multiplied by the length of time it existed. It is only calculated for full advisories on specific tropical and subtropical systems reaching or exceeding wind speeds of 39 mph (63 km/h).[76]

Systems

Tropical Storm Arthur

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationMay 16 – May 19
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Depression One of the 2020 season developed east of Florida around 18:00 UTC on May 16. Six hours later, an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft found that it had attained tropical storm strength. Tropical Storm Arthur weaved along the Gulf Stream and changed little in intensity as it encountered increasing wind shear. After passing east of North Carolina, the system reached peak winds of 60 mph (95 km/h) as deep convection partially covered the center. Shortly after, Arthur interacted with another front and became an extratropical cyclone by 12:00 UTC on May 20. The low turned southeast before dissipating near Bermuda a day later.[77]

Featuring the formation of a pre-season tropical storm, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season became the record sixth consecutive season with a tropical or subtropical cyclone before the official June 1 start date.[78] Passing within 20 nautical miles of the Outer Banks, Arthur caused tropical storm force wind gusts and a single report of sustained tropical storm force winds at Alligator River Bridge.[79] Arthur caused $112,000 in damage in Florida.[80]

Tropical Storm Bertha

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationMay 27 – May 28
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1005 mbar (hPa)

On May 27 a small, well-defined low with centralized convection developed off the coast of South Carolina and the system was classified as a tropical storm. Based on Doppler weather radar and buoy data, the system attained peak winds of 50 mph (85 km/h) shortly before moving inland near Isle of Palms. Turning north and accelerating, the system quickly degraded and transitioned into an extratropical cyclone over Virginia.[81]

Damage was primarily limited to localized flooding, especially around canals, and an EF1 tornado caused minor damage in southern Miami.[82][83] In coastal South Carolina, there was localized flash flooding,[81][84] and one person drowned due to rip currents at Myrtle Beach,[85] Overall, Bertha caused at least $133,000 in damage.[86][87]

Tropical Storm Cristobal

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationJune 1 – June 9
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  988 mbar (hPa)

At 10:00 UTC on May 31, Tropical Storm Amanda of the Eastern Pacific basin made landfall on Guatemala and dissipated inland. Its remnants crossed Central America and entered the Bay of Campeche, and at 18:00 UTC on June 1, Tropical Depression Three developed directly from those remnants.[nb 4][88] By 12:00 UTC the following day, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Cristobal. Throughout the remainder of the day, Cristobal's wind field became more symmetrical and well defined and it gradually strengthened with falling barometric pressure as the storm meandered towards the Mexican coastline. Cristobal made landfall as a strong tropical storm just west of Ciudad del Carmen at 13:35 UTC on June 3 at its peak intensity of 60 mph (95 km/h). As Cristobal moved very slowly inland, it weakened back down to tropical depression status as the overall structure of the storm deteriorated. The storm began accelerating northwards on June 5 and by 06:00 UTC that day, despite being situated inland over the Yucatán Peninsula, Cristobal re-intensified back to tropical storm status. As Cristobal moved further north into the Gulf of Mexico, dry air and interaction with an upper-level trough to the east began to strip Cristobal of any central convection, with most of the convection being displaced to the east and north of the center. Late on June 7, Cristobal made landfall over southeastern Louisiana. The system weakened to a tropical depression on the next day, as it moved inland over the state. The storm survived as a tropical depression as it moved up the Mississippi River Valley, before finally becoming extratropical at 00:00 UTC on June 10 over southern Wisconsin. On June 12, Cristobal degenerated into a remnant low, before fully dissipating on June 13.[89]

On June 1, the government of Mexico issued a tropical storm warning from Campeche westward to Puerto de Veracruz. Residents at risk were evacuated. Nine thousand Mexican National Guard members were summoned to aid in preparations and repairs.[90] Significant rain fell across much of Southern Mexico and Central America. Wave heights up to 9.8 ft (3 m) high closed ports for several days. In El Salvador, a mudslide caused 7 people to go missing. Up to 9.6 in (243 mm) of rain fell in the Yucatán Peninsula, flooding sections of a highway. Street flooding occurred as far away as Nicaragua.[90] On June 5, while Cristobal was still a tropical depression, a tropical storm watch was issued from Punta Herrero to Rio Lagartos by the government of Mexico as well as for another area from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the Florida-Alabama border, issued by the National Weather Service. These areas were later upgraded to warnings and for the Gulf Coast, the warning was extended to the Okaloosa/Walton County line.[91] Heavy rains and damage were reported within the warning areas during Cristobal's passage and the storm caused an estimated US$665 million in damage.

Tropical Storm Dolly

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationJune 22 – June 24
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

On June 19, the NHC began monitoring an area of disturbed weather off the southeastern U.S. coast for possible subtropical development in the short term.[92] Despite low chances of development,[93] the low moved south into the Gulf Stream in the afternoon of June 22, and new thunderstorm activity began to fire near the circulation.[94] The low's convective activity rapidly became more defined and well organized while the circulation became closed, prompting the National Hurricane Center to designate the system as Subtropical Depression Four at around 21:00 UTC on June 22. Over the next several hours, the system's wind field contracted significantly, becoming more characteristic of a tropical cyclone; its winds also strengthened to 45 miles per hour (72 km/h). Based on these developments, the NHC classified the system as a tropical storm at 17:00 UTC on June 23, and named it Dolly.[95] However, Dolly's peak intensity proved to be short-lived as its central convection began to diminish while it drifted over colder ocean waters. At 15:00 UTC on June 24, Dolly became a post-tropical cyclone, with any remaining convection displaced well to the system's south and the remaining circulation exposed.[96]

Tropical Storm Edouard

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationJuly 4 – July 7
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1007 mbar (hPa)

On July 1, a cluster of thunderstorms known as a mesoscale convective vortex formed over the northern Tennessee Valley and slowly moved southeastwards.[97] By July 2, the remnant low emerged off the coast of Georgia,[98] and the NHC began monitoring the low around 00:00 UTC on July 4.[99] Just four hours later, the circulation of the low became better defined and closed,[100] and at 15:00 UTC on July 4 the NHC issued its first advisory on the system as Tropical Depression Five. The system gradually drifted north-northeast towards Bermuda while little change in intensity occurred as the storm passed 70 miles (110 km) north of the island around 09:00 UTC on July 5.[101][102] By 03:00 UTC on July 6, a large burst of convection as a result of baroclinic forces allowed the depression to finally strengthen into Tropical Storm Edouard.[35] Edouard further intensified as it began its extratropical transition, reaching peak intensity of 1007 mbar (29.74 inHg) and maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 km/h) at 18:00 UTC that same day. Three hours later, it became extratropical while located about 450 miles southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.[103]

The Bermuda Weather Service issued a gale warning for the entirety of the island chain in advance of the system on July 4.[104] Unsettled weather later ensued, and the depression caused tropical storm-force wind gusts and moderate rainfall on the island early on July 5. Impacts were relatively minor.[104][105] Edouard’s remnant brought brief, but heavy, rain to the British Isles, the Netherlands,[106] Germany,[107] southern Denmark and north-west Poland.

Tropical Storm Fay

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationJuly 9 – July 11
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  998 mbar (hPa)

At 00:00 UTC July 5, shortly after the formation of Tropical Storm Edouard, the NHC began to track an area of disorganized cloudiness and showers in relation to a nearly stationary surface trough in the Gulf of Mexico.[108] The disturbance moved inland in the Florida Panhandle by 12:00 UTC July 6.[109] Two days later, the system re-emerged over the coast of Georgia.[110] Once offshore, the system began to organize as deep convection blossomed over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.[111] Three hours later, the center reformed near the edge of the primary convective mass, prompting the NHC to initiate advisories on Tropical Storm Fay at 21:00 UTC July 9, located just 40 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras.[112][113] Fay intensified as it moved nearly due north, reaching its peak intensity of 60 mph winds and minimum barometric pressure of 998 mbar.[114] Fay then made landfall east-northeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey at 21:00 UTC July 10 after weakening slightly.[115] It quickly lost intensity inland, and by 06:00 UTC July 11, had weakened to a tropical depression while situated about 50 mi (80 km) north of New York City.[116] The depression transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone three hours later while located roughly 30 mi (45 km) south of Albany, New York.[117]

Immediately upon formation, tropical storm warnings were issued for the coasts of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, as the system moved north at 7 mph.[112] Six people were directly killed due to rip currents and storm surge associated with Fay. Overall, damage from the storm on the US Eastern Coast was at least US$350 million, based on wind and storm surge damage on residential, commercial, and industrial properties.[118]

Tropical Storm Gonzalo

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationJuly 21 – July 25
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  997 mbar (hPa)

Early on July 20, the NHC began monitoring a tropical wave over the central tropical Atlantic for possible development.[119] The wave rapidly became better organized as it moved quickly westward. By 21:00 UTC July 21, satellite imagery and scatterometer data indicated that the small low pressure system had acquired a well-defined circulation as well as sufficiently organized convection to be designated Tropical Depression Seven.[120] Satellite data received on the morning of July 22, indicated that the tropical depression had strengthened, and at 12:50 UTC, the NHC designated it as Tropical Storm Gonzalo.[121] Gonzalo continued to intensify throughout the day, with an eyewall under a central dense overcast and hints of a developing eye becoming evident. Gonzalo would then reach its peak intensity with wind speeds of 65 mph and a minimum central pressure of 997 mbar at 09:00 UTC the next day. However, strengthening was halted as its central dense overcast was significantly disrupted when the storm entrained very dry air into its circulation from the Saharan Air Layer to its north. Convection soon redeveloped over Gonzalo's center as the system attempted to mix out the dry air from its circulation, but the tropical storm did not strengthen further due to the hostile conditions. After making landfall on the island of Trinidad as a weak tropical storm, Gonzalo weakened to a tropical depression at 18:00 UTC on July 25. Three hours later, Gonzalo opened up into a tropical wave as it made landfall in northern Venezuela.[122]

On July 23, hurricane watches were issued for Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and a tropical storm watch was issued later that day for Grenada and Tobago.[123] After Gonzalo failed to strengthen into a hurricane on July 24, the hurricane and tropical storm watches were replaced with tropical storm warnings.[124] Tropical Storm Gonzalo brought squally weather to Trinidad and Tobago and parts of southern Grenada and northern Venezuela on July 25.[125] However, the storm's impact ended up being significantly smaller than originally anticipated.[126] The Tobago Emergency Management Agency only received two reports of damage on the island: a fallen tree on a health facility in Les Coteaux and a damaged bus stop roof in Argyle.[127]

Hurricane Hanna

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationJuly 23 – July 27
Peak intensity90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  973 mbar (hPa)

At 06:00 UTC July 19, the NHC noted a tropical wave over eastern Hispaniola and the nearby waters for possible development.[128] In the Gulf of Mexico, where conditions were more favorable for development,[129] the system began to steadily organize as a broad low pressure area formed within it.[130] Surface observations along with data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter Aircraft showed that the area of low pressure developed a closed circulation along with a well-defined center, prompting the NHC to issue its first advisory on Tropical Depression Eight at 03:00 UTC on July 23.[131] The depression continued to become better organized in the gulf and was designated Tropical Storm Hanna at 03:00 UTC on July 24, while located about 385 mi (620 km) east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas.[38] Over the ensuing 24 hours, Hanna underwent rapid intensification as its inner core and convection became better organized.[132] By 12:00 UTC July 25, radar and data from another Hurricane Hunter Aircraft showed that Hanna had intensified into the first hurricane of the season.[133] Hanna continued to strengthen further, reaching its peak intensity with 90 mph (140 km/h) winds by 21:00 UTC on July 25, before making landfall an hour later at Padre Island, Texas. After making a second landfall in Kenedy County, Texas at the same intensity at 23:15 UTC, the system then began to rapidly weaken, dropping to tropical depression status at 22:15 UTC the next day after crossing into Northeastern Mexico.[134][135]

Immediately after the system was classified as a tropical depression, tropical storm watches were issued for much of the Texas shoreline.[136] At 21:00 UTC on July 24, a hurricane warning was issued from Baffin Bay to Mesquite Bay, Texas, due to Hanna being forecast to become a hurricane before landfall.[137] As the hurricane approached landfall, local officials underscored the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic when warning residents living in flood-prone neighborhoods about the prospect of evacuation. Texas governor Greg Abbott announced the deployment of 17 COVID-19 mobile testing teams focused on shelters and 100 medical personnel provided by the Texas National Guard.[138] The precursor disturbance to Hanna dropped heavy rain to parts of Hispaniola, the Florida Keys and Cuba. In Pensacola, Florida, a 33-year-old police deputy was drowned by rip currents while trying to save his 10-year-old son in Sandestin Beach. In portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle, the outer bands of Hanna brought heavy rainfall, even threatening street flooding in New Orleans.[139][140] Hanna brought storm surge flooding, destructive winds, torrential rainfall, flash flooding and isolated tornadoes across South Texas and Northeastern Mexico. Flooding in the later region caused four fatalities.[141]

Hurricane Isaias

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationJuly 30 – August 5
Peak intensity85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  987 mbar (hPa)

The National Hurricane Center first began tracking a vigorous tropical wave off the coast of Africa on July 23.[142] The wave gradually organized and became better defined, developing a broad area of low pressure.[143] The system moved just south of Dominica, and at 03:00 UTC on July 30, it organized into a tropical cyclone. Due to its precursor disturbance already having gale-force winds, it was immediately declared a tropical storm and given the name "Isaias".[144] The following day, Isaias passed south of Puerto Rico and made landfall on the Dominican Republic. At 03:40 UTC on July 31, Isaias strengthened into a hurricane as it pulled away from the Greater Antilles.[145] The storm fluctuated in intensity afterwards, due to strong wind shear and dry air, with its winds peaking at 85 mph (137 km/h) and its central pressure falling to 987 mbar (29.1 inHg). At 15:00 UTC on August 1, Isaias made landfall on North Andros, Bahamas with winds around 80 mph (130 km/h), and the system weakened to a tropical storm at 21:00 UTC.[146][147] It then turned north-northwest, paralleling the east coast of Florida and Georgia while fluctuating between 65–70 mph (105–113 km/h) wind speeds. As the storm accelerated northeastward and approached the Carolina coastline, wind shear relaxed, allowing the storm to quickly intensify back into a hurricane at 00:00 UTC on August 4,[148][149] and at 03:10 UTC, Isaias made landfall on Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, with 1-minute sustained winds of 85 mph (137 km/h).[150] Following landfall, Isaias accelerated and only weakened slowly, dropping below hurricane status at 07:00 UTC over North Carolina.[151] The storm passed over the Mid-Atlantic states and New England before transitioning into an extratropical cyclone near the American-Canadian border, and subsequently weakening progressing into Quebec.[152]

Numerous tropical storm watches and warnings as well as hurricane watches and hurricane warnings were issued for the Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Bahamas, Cuba, and the entire East Coast of the United States. Isaias caused devastating flooding and wind damage in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Several towns were left without electricity and drinking water in Puerto Rico. Two people were killed in Puerto Rico, and a person was killed the Dominican Republic. In the United States, Isaias triggered a large tornado outbreak that prompted the issuance of 109 tornado warnings across 12 states. A total of 39 tornadoes touched down, the strongest being an EF3 tornado that struck a mobile home park near Windsor, North Carolina on August 4.[153] Fifteen people were killed in the United States.[153][154][155][156] Damage estimates exceeded US$4.725 billion, making Isaias the costliest tropical cyclone to strike the Northeastern U.S. since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.[157]

Tropical Depression Ten

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
DurationJuly 31 – August 1
Peak intensity35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1008 mbar (hPa)

On July 28, a tropical wave emerged off the west coast of Africa. Slow-moving, the system soon developed a defined low on July 29 as it turned north along the east side of an upper-level low. Associated convection became sufficiently organized for the system to be classified as a tropical depression the following day; at this time the cyclone was located about 230 mi (370 km) east-southeast of the easternmost Cabo Verde Islands. The system reached its peak intensity with winds of 35 mph (55 km/h) and a pressure of 1008 mbar (29.77 inHg) around 00:00 UTC on August 1. Scatterometer data revealed conflicting data, with tropical storm-force winds noted in one pass within the deepest convection to the southwest of the storm's center where the weakest winds are typically found. A near-concurrent pass from another satellite showed lower winds, and given the conflicting data the NHC determined the system to have not become a tropical storm. Thereafter, a combination of decreasing sea surface temperatures and dry air caused convection to dissipate. The depression turned west-northwest and degraded into a remnant low later that day. It soon dissipated on August 2 north of the Cabo Verde Islands.[158]

Tropical Storm Josephine

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationAugust 11 – August 16
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1004 mbar (hPa)

On August 7, the NHC began monitoring a tropical wave over the tropical Atlantic.[159] The wave's circulation slowly became more defined over the ensuing several days, with signs of convective organization becoming evident on satellite imagery on the morning of August 11.[160] The system's circulation grew increasingly better organized during the day, and at 21:00 UTC was designated Tropical Depression Eleven.[161] The depression's ability to intensify was initially hindered by dry air and wind shear.[162] After two days with little change in intensity, convection began to form closer to the estimated center of the depression,[163] and as a result it intensified into Tropical Storm Josephine at 15:00 UTC, August 13.[164] Josephine's intensity began to fluctuate on August 14, as wind-shear affected the system, causing convection to be displaced from the circulation.[165] Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated the system later that day and found that the storm's center had relocated further north in the afternoon hours.[166] Nonetheless, Josephine headed into increasingly hostile conditions as it began to pass north of the Leeward Islands.[167] As a result, the storm later weakened, becoming a tropical depression early on August 16, just north of the Virgin Islands.[168] The weakening cyclone's circulation became increasingly ill-defined, and Josephine eventually weakened into a trough of low pressure later that day.[169]

Tropical Storm Kyle

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationAugust 14 – August 16
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

On August 13, the NHC began to track an area of low pressure located over eastern North Carolina.[170] As it moved over the Outer Banks and then offshore overnight, warm water temperatures in the Atlantic allowed the system to rapidly organize,[171] and at 21:00 UTC on August 14, the NHC designated the system as Tropical Storm Kyle.[172] The storm proceeded to move quickly east-northeastward along the Gulf Stream,[40] and reaching its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 1000 mb (29.53 inHg) by mid-day on August 15.[173] Meanwhile, its circulation quickly started to become elongated as a consequence of strong upper-level westerly winds.[174] As a result, Kyle began to lose its tropical characteristics over the ensuing hours with its circulation becoming asymmetric,[175] ultimately leading to its becoming a post-tropical cyclone early on August 16 and dissipating by the following morning.[176] Kyle's remnant energy was later absorbed by extratropical Storm Ellen, a European windstorm which brought hurricane-strength winds to the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.[177][178]

Hurricane Laura

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationAugust 20 – August 29
Peak intensity150 mph (240 km/h) (1-min)  937 mbar (hPa)

On August 16, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) began tracking a large tropical wave that had emerged off the West African coast, and was traversing across the Intertropical Convergence Zone toward the Windward Islands.[179] As the system moved across the central tropical Atlantic toward the Windward Islands, satellite imagery revealed that the system had developed a well-defined center of circulation with sufficient organized deep convection to be classified as a tropical depression at 03:00 UTC on August 20.[180] The next day at 13:05 UTC, NOAA Hurricane Hunter Aircraft found that the depression had strengthened and become Tropical Storm Laura.[181] It remained quite disorganized, however, and the system was unable to strengthen further, due to moderate wind shear. The storm then moved over the northern Leeward islands, and it then strengthened as it approached Puerto Rico.[182] Early on August 23, Laura made landfall near San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, with 45 mph (75 km/h) winds.[183] Laura retained large amounts of convection despite interaction with the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola,[184] and gained renewed strength later that day once back over water, moving between Haiti and eastern Cuba.[185] Early on August 25, the storm entered the Gulf of Mexico[186] and became a Category 1 hurricane at 12:15 UTC on the same day.[187] Afterward, it rapidly intensified into a major hurricane, with its sustained wind speeds increasing by 50 mph (80 km/h) during the 24 hours ending at 15:00 UTC on August 26, reaching 125 mph (200 km/h).[188] Later that day, at 18:00 UTC, it attained Category 4 status,[189] and then, at 02:00 UTC on August 27, Laura reached its peak intensity with 1-minute sustained winds at 150 mph (240 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 937 mbar (27.67 inHg).[190] At 06:00 UTC, Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, with sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h),[191] making it the strongest Louisiana-landfalling hurricane in terms of wind speed since the 1856 Last Island hurricane.[3] Laura steadily weakened after moving inland, dropping to tropical storm strength roughly 11 hours later over Northern Louisiana,[192] and then to a tropical depression over Arkansas early on August 28.[193] The deteriorating system turned northeastward, and by 09:00 UTC on August 29, degenerated into a remnant low over north central Kentucky.[194]

As Laura passed through the Northern Leeward Islands, it brought heavy rainfall to the islands of Guadeloupe and Dominica,[195] and prompted the closing of all ports in the British Virgin Islands.[196] The storm produced heavy downpours upon Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.[197] Laura pummeled southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas, with Lake Charles, Louisiana being particularly hard hit.[198] Altogether, there were 77 storm related deaths: four in the Dominican Republic, 31 in Haiti, and 42 in the United States.

Hurricane Marco

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationAugust 20 – August 25
Peak intensity75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  991 mbar (hPa)

The NHC began to track a tropical wave located over the central tropical Atlantic at 00:00 UTC on August 16.[199] Initially hindered by its speed and unfavorable conditions in the eastern Caribbean, the wave began organizing once it reached the central Caribbean on August 19.[200] At 15:00 UTC on August 20, the NHC designated the wave as Tropical Depression Fourteen.[201] Intensification was initially slow, but the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Marco at 03:00 UTC on August 22.[202] Marco passed just offshore of Honduras and, as a result of favorable atmospheric conditions, quickly intensified to an initial peak of 65 mph (105 km/h) and a pressure of 992 mb, with a characteristic eye beginning to form on radar.[203] After a Hurricane Hunters flight found evidence of sustained winds above hurricane force, Marco was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane at 16:30 UTC on August 23.[204] Even so, strong southwesterly wind shear soon displaced the storm's convection, exposing its low-level center, which caused the system to weaken.[205] It was downgraded to a tropical storm at 03:00 UTC on October 24.[206] Later that day, at 23:00 UTC, Marco made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River as a weak tropical storm with winds at 40 mph (64 km/h) and a pressure of 1006 mb.[207] Marco degenerated into a remnant low just south of Louisiana at 09:00 UTC on August 25.[208]

Marco was indirectly responsible for the death of one person in Chiapas, Mexico.[209] As the storm ultimately weakened faster than anticipated, its landfall in Louisiana was much less damaging than initially feared, only causing around $35 million in damage.[210]

Tropical Storm Omar

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationAugust 31 – September 5
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1003 mbar (hPa)

During the last few days of August, a cold front spawned a trough over Northern Florida, and eventually, a low-pressure area formed offshore of the southeast coast of the United States. The low rapidly organized as it drifted on top of the Gulf Stream, and was classified as Tropical Depression Fifteen at 21:00 UTC on August 31.[211] Moving generally northeastward away from North Carolina, the depression struggled to intensify in a marginally favorable environment with warm Gulf Stream waters being offset by high wind shear.[212] Eventually, satellite estimates revealed that the depression was intensifying. The system became consolidated enough to be upgraded to a tropical storm, and was thus given the name Omar at 21:00 UTC on September 1.[213] After being hit by 40-50 knots of northwesterly wind shear during the morning of September 2,[214] Omar weakened back to a tropical depression later in the day, when it was roughly 265 mi (430 km) north of Bermuda due to the high wind shear.[215] Early on September 5, the center began to fully separate from the bursts of convection, and by 21:00 UTC that day, Omar degenerated into a remnant low.[216][217]

Hurricane Nana

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 1 – September 3
Peak intensity75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  994 mbar (hPa)

On August 27, the NHC began to monitor a tropical wave that was moving westward over the Atlantic.[218] Over the next four days, system gradually organized and acquired gale-force winds and at 06:00 UTC on September 1, it developed into a tropical storm. Operationally, it was not named until 16:00 UTC, when a hurricane hunter aircraft investigating the storm found a well-defined low-level circulation (LLC), allowing the NHC to name the system Nana.[219] By 18:00 UTC that same day, the storm strengthened some more, obtaining 1-minute sustained winds of 60 mph (95 km/h). Afterward, moderate northerly shear of 15 knots halted the trend and partially exposed the center of circulation, although its pressure continued to drop. After the shear abated some late on September 2, Nana redeveloped convection over its center and quickly intensifed into a hurricane at 03:00 UTC on September 3, reaching its peak intensity with 1-minute sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 994 mbars (29.36 inHg). Three hours later, Nana made landfall between Dangriga and Placencia in Belize at peak intensity. Nana quickly weakened, falling to a tropical depression at 18:00 UTC. It degenerated into a remnant low at 00:00 UTC on September 4 before dissipating shortly thereafter. Its mid-level remnants eventually spawned Tropical Storm Julio in the eastern Pacific on September 5.[220]

Nana caused street flooding in the Bay Islands of Honduras.[221] Hundreds of acres of banana and plantation crops were destroyed in Belize, where a peak wind speed of 61 mph (98 km/h) was reported at a weather station in Carrie Bow Cay.[222] Total economic losses in Belize exceeded $20 million. Heavy amounts of precipitation also occurred in northern Guatemala.[223]

Hurricane Paulette

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 7 – September 23
Peak intensity105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  965 mbar (hPa)

The NHC began to track a tropical wave located over Africa on August 30.[224] The wave became better organized and formed an area of low pressure on September 6, while midway between the west coast of Africa and the Leeward Islands, but convective activity remained disorganized.[225][226] In the early hours of September 7, the wave became more organized, and the NHC began issuing advisories for Tropical Depression Seventeen at 03:00 UTC on September 7.[227] At 15:00 UTC the same day, the NHC upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Paulette.[228] The storm moved generally west-northwestward over the central tropical Atlantic as it gradually intensified. At 15:00 UTC on September 8, Paulette reached its first peak intensity with 1-minute sustained winds of 65 mph (100 km/h) with a minimum central pressure of 995 mbar (29.39 inHg).[229] Twelve hours later, an increase in wind shear weakened the storm.[230] On September 11, despite a very harsh environment, Paulette began to re-intensify.[231] The shear later began to lessen, allowing Paulette to become more organized and begin to form an eye,[232] becoming a hurricane at 03:00 UTC on September 13.[233] Dry air entrainment gave the storm a somewhat ragged appearance, but it continued to slowly strengthen as it approached Bermuda with its eye clearing out and its convection becoming more symmetric.[234] Paulette then made a sharp turn to the north and made landfall in northeastern Bermuda at 09:00 UTC on September 14 with 90 mph (150 km/h) winds and a 973 mb (28.74 inHg) pressure.[235] The storm then strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane as it accelerated northeast away from the island on September 14, reaching its peak intensify of 105 mph (170 km/h) and a pressure of 965 mb (28.50 inHg) later that day.[236][237] As Paulette accelerated northeastward, it began to start extratropical transition on September 15,[238] which it completed the next day.[239]

After about five days of slow southward movement, the extratropical cyclone began to redevelop a warm core and its wind field shrank considerably. By September 22, it had redeveloped tropical characteristics and the NHC resumed issuing advisories shortly thereafter.[240] It moved eastward over the next day, and became post-tropical for the second time in its lifespan early on September 23[241] and subsequently dissipated.

Trees and power lines were downed throughout Bermuda, leading to an island-wide power outage.[242] In Lavallette, New Jersey, a 60-year-old man drowned while swimming after being caught in rough surf produced by Paulette.[243]

Tropical Storm Rene

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 7 – September 14
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1001 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave emerged into the Atlantic on September 6. A well-defined low-pressure area already existed along the way, though convection initially remained limited. After a burst in deep convection the wave was designated as a tropical depression at 06:00 UTC on September 7 approximately 200 mi (320 km) east of the easternmost islands of Cabo Verde. Convection consolidated and organized further, with banding developing later that day, while the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Rene about 12 hours later. Moving west-northwestward for much of its duration, Rene made landfall on Boa Vista Island around 00:00 UTC on September 8 with sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km/h). Dry air and only marginally warm seas caused convection to wane and Rene weakened to a tropical depression several hours later. After another burst in deep convection early on September 9, the cyclone re-strengthened into a tropical storm. At 12:00 UTC on September 10, Rene peaked with sustained winds of 45 mph (75 km/h) and a minimum barometric pressure of 1,001 mbar (29.6 inHg). Showers and thunderstorms decreased starting on the following day due to dry air and Rene weakened to a tropical depression on September 12. Strong westerly shear caused further weakening, with Rene degenerating into a trough about 1,035 mi (1,666 km) northeast of the Leeward Islands. The remnants turned southwestward and dissipated a few days later.[244]

A tropical storm warning was issued for the Cabo Verde Islands when advisories were first issued on the storm at 09:00 UTC on September 7.[244] Rene produced gusty winds and heavy rains across the islands, but no serious damage was reported.[245] The warning was discontinued at 21:00 UTC on September 8.[244]

Hurricane Sally

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 11 – September 17
Peak intensity105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  965 mbar (hPa)

On September 10, the NHC began to monitor an area of disturbed weather over The Bahamas for possible development.[246] Over the next day, convection rapidly increased, became better organized, and formed a broad area of low-pressure on September 11.[247] At 21:00 UTC, the system had organized enough to be designated as Tropical Depression Nineteen.[248] At 06:00 UTC on September 12, the depression crossed the Florida coast just south of Miami, with winds of 35 mph (55 km/h) and a pressure of 1007 mbar (29.74 inHg).[249] Shortly after moving into the Gulf of Mexico, the system strengthened into Tropical Storm Sally at 18:00 UTC the same day.[250] Northwesterly shear caused by an upper-level low caused the system to have a sheared appearance, but it continued to strengthen as it gradually moved north-northwestward.[251] Sally began to go through a period of rapid intensification around midday on September 14. Its center reformed under a large burst of deep convection and it strengthened from a 65 mph (105 km/h) tropical storm to a 90 mph (140 km/h) Category 1 hurricane in just one and a half hours.[252][253] It continued to gain strength and became a Category 2 hurricane later that evening.[254] However, upwelling due to its slow movement as well increasing wind shear weakened Sally back down to Category 1 strength early the next day.[255] It continued to steadily weaken as it moved slowly northwest then north, although its pressure continued to fall.[256] However, as Sally approached the coast, its eye quickly became better defined and it abruptly began to re-intensify.[257] By 05:00 UTC on September 15, it had become a Category 2 hurricane again.[258] At around 09:45 UTC, the system made landfall at peak intensity near Gulf Shores, Alabama with winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) and a pressure of 965 mbars (28.50 inHg).[259] The storm rapidly weakened as it moved slowly inland, weakening to a Category 1 hurricane at 13:00 UTC[260] and to a tropical storm at 18:00 UTC.[261] It further weakened to a tropical depression at 03:00 UTC on September 17,[262] before degenerating into a remnant low at 15:00 UTC.[263]

A tropical storm watch was issued for the Miami metropolitan area when the storm first formed, while numerous watches and warnings were issued as Sally approached the U.S. Gulf Coast.[264] Several coastline counties and parishes on the Gulf Coast were evacuated. In South Florida, heavy rain led to localized flash flooding,[265] while the rest of peninsula saw continuous shower and thunderstorm activity due to asymmetric structure of Sally. The area between Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida took the brunt of the storm with widespread wind damage, storm surge and flooding, and over 2 ft (61 cm) of rainfall was recorded near Naval Air Station Pensacola.[266] several tornadoes touched down in the region as well.[264] Ultimately, eight people were killed and damage estimates were at least $6.25 billion.[210]

Hurricane Teddy

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 12 – September 23
Peak intensity140 mph (220 km/h) (1-min)  945 mbar (hPa)

The NHC began to monitor a tropical wave over Africa early on September 7.[267] By the afternoon of September 12, the disturbance, then located several hundred miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, had become better defined,[268] and at 21:00 UTC that night, the NHC designated it as Tropical Depression Twenty.[269] After overcoming persistent northerly shear,[270] the system became better organized and strengthened into Tropical Storm Teddy at 09:00 UTC on September 14.[47] The storm continued to intensify, with an eye beginning to form late on September 15.[271] Satellite data received shortly after 06:00 UTC the following day indicated that Teddy had quickly intensified into an 85 mph (140 km/h) hurricane.[272] The storm continued to intensify, becoming a Category 2 hurricane later that day.[273] However, some slight westerly wind shear briefly halted intensification and briefly weakened the storm to a Category 1 at 03:00 UTC on September 17.[274] When the shear decreased, Teddy rapidly re-intensified into a major hurricane at 15:00 UTC that day.[275] Teddy further strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane six hours later, reaching its peak intensity of 140 mph (220 km/h) and a pressure of 945 mb (27.91 inHg).[276] Internal fluctuation and an eyewall replacement cycle caused the storm to weaken slightly to a Category 3 hurricane at 09:00 UTC on September 18.[277] Soon after, Teddy briefly re-strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane[278] before another eyewall replacement cycle weakened it again to Category 3 intensity.[279] On the morning of September 20, the hurricane's internal structure deteriorated substantially, causing its eye to nearly dissipate,[280] and by 12:00 UTC Teddy had weakened to Category 2 intensity.[281]

While moving generally in a north-northeasterly direction across the central Atlantic, Teddy weakened to a Category 1 hurricane during the afternoon of September 21.[282] Later that day, the system began to merge with a mid-latitude trough;[283] the infusion of energy from the trough in combination with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream caused it to re-intensify to Category 2 hurricane late that night.[284] As Teddy began to undergo an extratropical transition on September 22, while moving toward Nova Scotia, its windfield expanded greatly, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 150 mi (240 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 550 mi (890 km).[285] Later that same day, the hurricane weakened to Category 1 intensity,[286] before becoming a strong post-tropical cyclone at around 00:00 UTC on September 23.[287] The cyclone made landfall approximately 12 hours later near Ecum Secum, Nova Scotia with maximum sustained winds near 65 mph (100 km/h).[288] The storm then made landfall in Newfoundland as a weakening extratropical storm.[289]

Hurricane Teddy generated large ocean swells which spread along much of the U.S. Atlantic coast and from the northern Caribbean to Bermuda.[290] Two people drowned in the waters off La Pocita in Loíza, Puerto Rico due to rip currents generated by these swells on September 18,[291] as did a swimmer at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey on September 23.[292]

Tropical Storm Vicky

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 14 – September 17
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

In the early hours of September 11, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa.[293] The disturbance steadily organized, and the NHC issued a special advisory to designate the system as Tropical Depression Twenty-One at 10:00 UTC on September 14.[294] The depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Vicky five hours later based on scatterometer data.[295] Despite extremely strong shear removing all but a small convective cluster to the northeast of its center,[296] Vicky intensified further, reaching its peak intensity with 1-minute sustained winds of 50 mph (85 km/h) and a pressure of 1000 mbar (29.53 inHg) at 03:00 UTC on September 15.[297] Eventually, 50 knots of wind shear began to take its toll on Vicky, and its wind speed began to fall.[298] It weakened into a tropical depression at 15:00 UTC on September 17,[299] and degenerating into a remnant low six hours later.[300] The low continued westward producing weak disorganized convection[301] before opening up into a trough late on September 19[302] and dissipating the next day.[303]

The tropical wave that spawned Tropical Storm Vicky produced flooding in the Cabo Verde Islands. The floods killed one person in Praia on September 12.[304][305]

Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 17 – September 23
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  994 mbar (hPa)

On September 10, the NHC began to monitor a trough of low pressure that had formed over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.[306] Development of the system was not expected at the time due to strong upper-level winds produced by Hurricane Sally.[307] The disturbance nonetheless persisted, moving southwestward into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico where it began to organize as Sally moved away into the Southeastern United States early on September 16.[308] The next day, hurricane hunters found a closed circulation, and as thunderstorms persisted near the center, the NHC initiated advisories on Tropical Depression Twenty-Two at 23:00 UTC on September 17.[309] At 21:00 UTC on September 18, the system strengthened into Tropical Storm Beta.[310] Although affected by wind shear and dry air, the storm continued to intensify, reaching a peak intensity of 60 mph (95 km/h) and a pressure of 994 mbar|mb (29.36 inHg) at 15:00 UTC on September 19, with a brief mid-level eye feature visible on radar imagery.[311][312] However, it became nearly stationary after turning westward over the Gulf of Mexico, causing upwelling and weakening the storm.[313][314] Beta continued to weaken, and made landfall on the Matagorda Peninsula in Texas at 04:00 UTC on September 22, with winds of 45 mph (75 km/h).[315] Afterwards, Beta fell to tropical depression status at 15:00 UTC.[316] It then became nearly stationary again before turning east, with the NHC issuing their final advisory and giving future advisory responsibilities to the Weather Prediction Center (WPC).[317][318] It transitioned to a remnant low at 03:00 UTC on September 23.[319]

Beta caused extensive flooding throughout much of the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Houston officials reported that over 100,000 gallons of domestic wastewater spilled at five locations in the city as a result; officials also reported that one man drowned in Brays Bayou.[320]

Tropical Storm Wilfred

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 18 – September 21
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1007 mbar (hPa)

On September 13, the NHC began to monitor a tropical wave over West Africa for possible development.[321] The wave subsequently emerged over the eastern Atlantic and began to slowly organize as it moved westward, and, though it had not yet obtained a well-defined low-level circulation (LLC), it was producing winds near tropical-storm-force by late September 17.[322] Later, at 15:00 UTC on September 18, an LLC was found and, as the system already had gale-force winds, was designated Tropical Storm Wilfred.[323] Located at a relatively low latitude, Wilfred remained weak and changed little in appearance due to wind shear and unfavorable conditions caused by the outflow of nearby Hurricane Teddy.[324] As a result, Wilfred failed to strengthen further, subsequently weakening to a tropical depression at 15:00 UTC on September 20.[325] Wilfred eventually degenerated into a trough at 03:00 UTC on September 21.[326]

Subtropical Storm Alpha

Subtropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationSeptember 18 – September 19
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  996 mbar (hPa)

At 06:00 UTC on September 15, the NHC, together with Météo France, began tracking a non-tropical low pressure area north of 45°N, a few hundred miles north of the Azores.[327] It was given a low chance of development as it moved southeast.[328] Over the next few days, it organized while the extratropical system surrounding it gradually weakened, although its proximity and fast movement towards the coast caused the NHC to lower its odds of development.[322] Early on September 18, the system started to rapidly become better defined and the NHC designated it as Subtropical Storm Alpha at 16:30 UTC.[329] Alpha made landfall just north of Lisbon, Portugal, at 18:30 UTC.[330] After landfall, the storm rapidly weakened, becoming a remnant low over the district of Viseu in Portugal at 03:00 UTC on September 19.[331]

In preparation for Alpha on September 18, orange warnings were raised for high wind and heavy rain in Coimbra District and Leiria District of Portugal.[332] Alpha and its associated low produced extensive wind damage, spawned at least two tornadoes, and caused extreme street flooding.[333][334] In Spain, the front associated with Alpha caused a train to derail in Madrid (no one was seriously injured), while lightning storms on Ons Island caused a forest fire. A woman died in Calzadilla after a roof collapsed.[334]

Tropical Storm Gamma

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationOctober 2 – October 6
Peak intensity70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  980 mbar (hPa)

The NHC initiated advisories on Tropical Depression Twenty-Five at 15:00 UTC on October 2.[335] Eight hours later, the depression developed into Tropical Storm Gamma, while located off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.[336] Gamma began to quickly intensify after formation, almost reaching hurricane strength at 15:00 UTC on October 3.[337] Shortly thereafter, at around 16:45 UTC, Gamma made landfall near Tulum, Quintana Roo, at peak strength with winds of 70 mph (110 km/h) and a pressure of 980 mb.[338] Gamma weakened some as it passed over the northern Yucatán,[339] then emerged over the southern Gulf of Mexico early on October 4, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (95 km/h).[340] Gamma re-intensified slightly after moving back over water, but stalled during the afternoon,[341] before increased wind shear left the center exposed,[342] causing it to weaken to a tropical depression by 21:00 UTC on October 5.[343] The storm became post tropical six hours later just 85 miles north of the Yucatán Peninsula as it failed to redevelop any central convection.[344]

Numerous tropical cyclone watches and warnings were issued for parts of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico following the formation of Gamma and thousands of people were evacuated. Gamma produced strong winds, heavy rainfall, flash flooding, landslides, and mudslides in the region. At least seven fatalities have been confirmed.[345]

Hurricane Delta

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationOctober 5 – October 10
Peak intensity145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  953 mbar (hPa)

On October 1, the NHC began to monitor a tropical wave located a few hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles for potential development.[346] Later, at 21:00 UTC on October 4, the system was classified as Potential Tropical Cyclone Twenty-Six.[347] By 03:00 UTC on October 5, it had become sufficiently organized to be labeled a tropical depression.[348] The system continued to gain strength and at 12:00 UTC it was designated Tropical Storm Delta, while located roughly 100 mi (160 km) south of Jamaica.[349][350] Delta soon began to rapidly intensify, attaining hurricane strength 12 hours later.[351] By 15:20 UTC on October 6, a Hurricane Hunters reconnaissance aircraft found that the system had continued to rapidly intensify into a Category 4 major hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph (210 km/h).[352] Delta's breakneck rate of intensification was due to a combination of extremely warm ocean water temperatures, low wind shear and sufficiently moist air aloft.[353] After attaining maximum sustained winds of 145 mph (230 km/h) and a pressure of 956 mb (28.23 inHg),[354] Delta weakened early on October 7 due to a slight increase in mid-level wind shear, which inhibited upper-level outflow from the storm and disrupted its small core.[352][355] Later that day, around 10:30 UTC, it made landfall near Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo as a Category 2 hurricane with wind speeds of 110 mph (175 km/h).[356] Delta spent several hours over land before emerging off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico north of Dzilam de Bravo, Yucatán,[357] as a Category 1 hurricane around 21:00 UTC.[358] It regained Category 2 status early on October 8,[359] and, later that day, strengthened back into a major hurricane.[360] At 09:00 UTC on October 9, Delta reached its lowest central pressure of 953 mb (28.14 inHg) and secondary peak sustained winds of 120 mph (195 km/h).[361] Delta weakened on October 9 to category 2 strength as it moved toward the southwestern Louisiana coast,[362] and made landfall near Creole, Louisiana with winds of 100 mph (155 km/h) at 23:00 UTC.[363] By 06:00 UTC on October 10, Delta had weakened to a tropical storm,[364] and by 15:00 UTC to a tropical depression.[365] It became post-tropical six hours later while located about 80 mi (130 km) west-southwest of Tupelo, Mississippi.[366]

As Delta was nearing landfall in Quintana Roo, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on October 6 the activation of the DN-III emergency plan and the mobilization of 5,000 soldiers of the Mexican Armed Forces to help with the evacuation of sheltering people in the region.[367] There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, but there were numerous reports of fallen trees and damage to the region's electrical grids.[357] As Delta moved into the northern Gulf of Mexico, widespread watches and warnings were issued along the U.S. Gulf Coast.[368] States of emergency were declared in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and numerous coastal, low-lying, and flood prone areas were evacuated.[369][370][371] The hurricane and its remnants produced heavy rain, strong winds, storm surge, and tornadoes across much of the Southeastern United States.[372] Altogether, there were six storm-related fatalities, two each in: Yucatán, Louisiana and Florida.[373][374][375][376]

Hurricane Epsilon

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationOctober 19 – October 26
Peak intensity115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  951 mbar (hPa)

The NHC started monitoring a non-tropical low late on October 15. It slowly organized and gained convection as it meandered southeast of Bermuda. Early on October 19, the NHC issued a special advisory on the system as it became more well-defined, dubbing it Tropical Depression Twenty-Seven as it became nearly stationary.[377] Three hours later, the system strengthened into Tropical Storm Epsilon,[53] and then gradually intensified the following day as it completed a small counter-clockwise loop.[378] An eye soon became apparent on infrared satellite images, and Epsilon strengthened into a hurricane at 03:00 UTC on October 21.[379] At 21:00 UTC that day, a NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft reported that the storm had rapidly strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane, becoming the fourth major hurricane of the season. Epsilon reached its peak intensity of 115 mph (185 km/h) and pressure of 951 mbar (28.08 inHg) three hours later.[380][381] Its unusual rapid intensification over cool sea surface temperatures was unprecedented by forecasters and was also the farthest east any tropical cyclone had rapidly intensified this late in an Atlantic hurricane season.[382][383] By 09:00 UTC on October 22 the storm started to weaken with the eye becoming increasingly cloud-filled, and Epsilon was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane.[384] The eye began to re-emerge later in the day though reconnaissance aircraft found the storm had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane at 15:00 UTC.[385] That night, Epsilon made its closest advance toward Bermuda, passing about 190 mi (310 km) to its east.[386] Epsilon continued to weaken very slowly as it moved northward toward the north extent of the Gulf Stream and encountered colder sea surface temperatures. By the morning of October 25, its wind field was beginning to grow again as the hurricane began its extratropical transition; although it continued to produce inner-core convection.[387] Epsilon dropped below hurricane intensity at 21:00 UTC that evening,[388] and completed its post-tropical transition by 03:00 UTC on October 26.[389] The remnants of Epsilon were later absorbed into a deep extratropical area of low pressure southwest of Iceland.[390] The trailing weather fronts associated with this low produced waves up to 98 ft (30 m) on the coast of Ireland on October 28.[391] In advance, Met Éireann issued yellow warnings for wind for the counties of Cork, Wexford, and Waterford,[392] and the Met Office issued the same for parts of Wales and North West England.[390]

The hurricane's large wind field prompted the issuance of a tropical storm watch for Bermuda at 15:00 UTC on October 20,[393] which was later upgraded to a warning 24 hours later.[394] Although the Bermuda Weather Service anticipated that hurricane-force winds would not impact the island,[395] the Government of Bermuda warned residents to prepare for power outages and to check their emergency supplies.[396] Additionally, Dangerous Surf Advisory signs were posted at south shore beaches.[397] Rainfall on the island as the storm passed by amounted to less than an inch; winds at Bermuda's airport gusted near tropical storm-force, with a peak wind gust of 38 mph (61 km/h).[386] The hurricane also generated large sea swells from Bermuda to the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Leeward Islands.[397] As Epsilon began moving away from Bermuda on October 23, the tropical storm warning was cancelled.[398]

Hurricane Zeta

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationOctober 24 – October 29
Peak intensity110 mph (175 km/h) (1-min)  970 mbar (hPa)

On 21:00 UTC on October 24, a system had organized enough to be designated as Tropical Depression Twenty-Eight.[399] At 06:00 UTC the following morning, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Zeta,[400] Despite experiencing some north-northwestwardly shear,[401] Zeta steadily intensified, and reached hurricane strength by 19:20 UTC on October 26.[402] It made landfall north of Tulum, Quintana Roo at 04:00 UTC the next day with winds of 80 mph (130 km/h) and a pressure of 977 mbars (28.85 inHg).[403] The hurricane weakened to a tropical storm while inland at 09:00 UTC.[404] Dry air wrapped around the northern half of Zeta's circulation as it moved off shore into the Gulf of Mexico, leaving the center partially exposed,[405] though it becoming better organized late on October 27, with a ragged eye feature and deep convection and visible.[406] At 06:00 UTC, Zeta became a hurricane again as it began another rapid intensification phase.[407] Zeta continued to strengthen until it reached its peak intensity of 110 mph (175 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 970 mbar (28.64 inHg) as it made landfall in Cocodrie, Louisiana at 21:00 UTC.[408] Zeta steadily weakened after landfall, falling to tropical storm status over central Alabama at 06:00 UTC on October 29,[409] before transitioning into a post-tropical cyclone over central Virginia 12 hours later.[410] The remnants of Zeta then moved quickly out over the Atlantic.[411]

Heavy rain in Jamaica caused a landslide that killed two persons.[412] Strong winds and rain caused flooding and damaged infrastructure in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.[413] There were six storm related deaths in the United States: Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi each had one death; three people were killed in Georgia.[414] Zeta flooded city streets and knocked out power to more than 2.6 million homes and businesses across the Southeastern United States; it also disrupted 2020 election early voting in several states.[415] As the remnants of Zeta moved off shore from the continental U.S., it left behind accumulating snow across parts of New England.[416]

Hurricane Eta

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationOctober 31 – November 13
Peak intensity150 mph (240 km/h) (1-min)  923 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Depression Twenty-Nine formed at 21:00 UTC on October 31,[417] and then Tropical Storm Eta at 03:00 UTC on November 1.[418] Eta quickly strengthened, reaching hurricane strength by 09:00 UTC on November 2.[419] Eta's rapid intensification continued through that day, and by 21:00 UTC it had grown into a Category 4 hurricane.[420] Eta reached its peak intensity of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a pressure of 923 mbar (27.26 inHg) at 06:00 UTC on November 3.[421] Later that day, at 21:00 UTC, it made landfall south of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, with winds of 140 mph (220 km/h) and a pressure of 940 mbar (27.73 inHg).[422] Eta rapidly weakened over land, moving westward, diminishing to a tropical storm by 09:00 UTC on November 4,[423] and to a tropical depression the following day. By November 7, the depresion had turned northeastward back over the Caribbean,[424] where it regained tropical storm strength.[425] Eta made its next landfall in Cuba's Sancti Spíritus Province at 09:00 UTC on on November 8.[426] Then, after crossing Cuba and the Straits of Florida, Eta made its third landfall, striking Lower Matecumbe Key in the Florida Keys at 04:00 UTC on November 9, with estimated maximum winds of near 65 mph (100 km/h).[427] Next, after moving into the Gulf of Mexico, Eta briefly re-strengthened into a hurricane southwest of Florida on the morning of November 11,[428] before weakening once more to tropical storm strength later in the day.[429] It then turned northeastward and made its final landfall near Cedar Key, Florida at 09:00 UTC on November 12, with winds of 50 mph (85 km/h).[430] The storm weakened over land as it accelerated north-northeastward, emerging over the Atlantic Ocean near the Florida–Georgia state line later that day.[431] Eta transitioned into an extratropical cyclone on November 13 while moving northeastward off the coast of the Carolinas.[432]

Hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings were issued along the Caribbean coast of Honduras and of Northeastern Nicaragua as Eta approached.[433] Eta knocked down power lines and trees while damaging roofs and causing flooding in and around Puerto Cabezas.[434] Overall, more than 210 fatalities across Central America were attributed to the storm,[435] including 74 in Honduras, 53 in Guatemala, 27 in Mexico, 19 in Panama, two each in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and one in El Salvador.[436][437][438][439][440][441] Relief efforts were severely hampered when, just two weeks later, Hurricane Iota made landfall approximately 15 miles (25 km) south of where Eta moved ashore.[442] Once the system began to reorganize in the Caribbean, tropical storm watches were issued on November 5, in the Cayman Islands. More watches were issued in parts of Cuba, the northwestern Bahamas, and South Florida. Eta bought heavy rainfall and gusty winds to the Cayman Islands and Cuba, the latter of which was already dealing overflowing rivers that prompted evacuations.[443][444][445] Heavy rainfall and tropical-storm force winds were recorded across much of Florida as a result of Eta's two landfalls there, causing widespread flooding; there was one fatality in Florida during the storm.[446][447]

Tropical Storm Theta

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
DurationNovember 10 – November 15
Peak intensity70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  989 mbar (hPa)

On November 6, the NHC began monitoring an non-tropical area of disturbed weather in the central Atlantic for possible gradual subtropical development.[448] A non-tropical low subsequently formed several hundred miles southwest of the Azores on November 8, and was designated 97L.[449] The system became better organized as it began to detach from a frontal boundary during the following day.[450] At 03:00 UTC on November 10, it developed into Subtropical Storm Theta[451] Satellite images received shortly before 14:00 UTC that afternoon revealed that the storm had sustained winds of 70 mph (110 km/h) and a central pressure of 989 mb (29.21 inHg);[452] this would be its peak intensity. Seven hours later, Theta completed a transition to a tropical storm.[453] By the following morning, the effects of strong southwesterly shear had weakened Theta somewhat,[454] though it soon began to regain some strength, and by 03:00 UTC on November 12, attained maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 km/h).[455] Convection continued to wax and wane around the storm's center as it fluctuated in intensity into the next day[456] before it weakened again on November 14, when most of the deep convection associated with It dissipated.[457] By 09:00 UTC the next day, Theta had weakened to a tropical depression,[458] and it degenerated to a remnant low six hours later.[459]

Hurricane Iota

Category 5 hurricane (SSHWS)
DurationNovember 13 – November 18
Peak intensity160 mph (260 km/h) (1-min)  917 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Depression Thirty-One developed in the central Caribbean around midday on November 13.[460] Six hours later, the system strengthened into Tropical Storm Iota.[461] Iota began to rapidly intensify on November 14, as convection started to wrap around its center,[462] and by 06:00 UTC the next day, it reached hurricane strength.[463] At 06:00 UTC on November 16, hurricane hunters aircraft reported that Iota had become a Category 3 hurricane.[464] Later that day, at 15:00 UTC, Iota reached Category 5 intensity, and also attained its peak intensity with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 917 mb (27.08 inHg).[465] As Iota was nearing its peak intensity, it passed very close to the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, with its eye missing Providencia by only 11 miles (18 km).[466] Iota weakened to a high-end Category 4 hurricane at 03:00 UTC on November 17 as it approached the coast of Nicaragua.[467] At 03:40 UTC, the hurricane made landfall near the town of Haulover, Nicaragua (in Pearl Lagoon municipality), with sustained winds of 155 mph (250 km/h) and a pressure of 920 mb (27.17 inHg); it’s landfall location was approximately 15 miles (25 km) south of where Hurricane Eta made landfall 13 days earlier.[468] Iota then steadily weakened as it pushed westward over Central America,[469] falling below hurricane status at 18:00 UTC.[470] By 09:00 UTC on November 18, Iota weakened to a tropical depression over El Salvador,[471] before dissipating later on that day.[472]

The government of Colombia issued a hurricane warning for Providencia and a hurricane watch for the island of San Andrés on November 14;[473] and a few hours later, hurricane warnings were issued for portions of the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua and of Honduras.[474] Iota damaged much of the infrastructure of Providencia, and caused widespread damaging flooding in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.[475] There were least 61 storm-related fatalities in the region, which was still recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Eta.[435]

Storm names

The following list of names was used for named storms that formed in the North Atlantic in 2020. As more than 21 named storms occurred, storms that formed after Wilfred were assigned names corresponding to the letters of the Greek alphabet. Use of this naming protocol had only happened once before, in 2005. Potential retirement of any 2020 names will be discussed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) during the joint 42nd and 43rd Sessions of the RA IV Hurricane Committee in the spring of 2021 (along with any names from the 2019 season, since the spring 2020 session was cancelled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic).[476] If a storm named with a Greek letter is retired, the letter name would, under current WMO protocol, "be included with the list of retired names with the year of occurrence, but that letter in the Greek Alphabet would still be used in the future."[477] Otherwise, names not retired from the 2020 list will be used again in the 2026 season.

The list of storm names for the 2020 season was the same list used in the 2014 season, as no names were retired from that year. The names Isaias, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred from the regular list were used for the first time this year, as were the auxiliary list names of Eta, Theta, and Iota. Isaias and Paulette replaced Ike and Paloma, respectively, after 2008, but both names went unused in 2014. The namings of Vicky and Wilfred marked only the second time storms have been assigned names that start with "V" and "W" in the Atlantic, with the first instances being Vince and Wilma in 2005.[478][479]

Auxiliary list

Name retirement issue

After the 2005 hurricane season, the WMO hurricane committee decided to keep using the Greek letter names as an auxiliary list each year, determining that retiring a Greek letter name by removing the name from use was infeasible.[480] Instead, a storm with a Greek letter name found worthy of retirement would be included in the list of retired names along with the year of occurrence, but the Greek letter would be kept for future use.[481] In 2020, several highly devastating storms with Greek letter names, particularly Eta and Iota (which, under the current policy, would be retired as "Eta (2020)" and "Iota (2020)" respectively), prompted concerns from meteorologists, including retired Hurricane Specialist Unit chief James Franklin, that the current policy would defeat the purpose of name retirement.[482][483]

Season effects

This is a table of all of the storms that have formed in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It includes their duration, names, damage, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect (an example of an indirect death would be a traffic accident), but were still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave, or a low. All of the damage figures are in 2020 USD.

2020 North Atlantic tropical cyclone season statistics
Storm
name
Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
wind
mph (km/h)
Min.
press.
(mbar)
Areas affected Damage
(USD)
Deaths Refs


Arthur May 16 – 19 Tropical storm 60 (95) 990 Southeastern United States, The Bahamas, Bermuda $112,000 None [80]
Bertha May 27 – 28 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1005 Southeastern United States, The Bahamas > $130,000 1 [85]
Cristobal June 1 – 9 Tropical storm 60 (95) 988 Central America, Mexico, Central United States, Great Lakes Region, Eastern Canada ≥ $665 million 15 [484][485][486][487]
[488][118]
Dolly June 22 – 24 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1002 None None None
Edouard July 4 – 6 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1007 Bermuda, British Isles, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Western Russia Minimal None
Fay July 9 – 11 Tropical storm 60 (95) 998 East Coast of the United States, Eastern Canada ≥ $350 million 6 [489][490][491][492]
[118]
Gonzalo July 21 – 25 Tropical storm 65 (100) 997 Windward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela Minimal None
Hanna July 23 – 27 Category 1 hurricane 90 (150) 973 Greater Antilles, Gulf Coast of the United States, Mexico $1.1 billion 5 [139][493][494][495]
[118]
Isaias July 30 – August 5 Category 1 hurricane 85 (140) 987 Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas, East Coast of the United States, Eastern Canada $4.8 billion 18 [496][497][153][498]
[499][154][156][500]
[155][501][502][503]
[504][157]
Ten July 31 – August 1 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1008 Cabo Verde Islands None None
Josephine August 11 – 16 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1004 None None None
Kyle August 14 – 16 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1000 The Carolinas None None
Laura August 20 – 29 Category 4 hurricane 150 (240) 937 Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Yucatán Peninsula, Southern United States $19.1 billion 77 [505][506][507][508]
[509][510][511][512]
[513][514][515][516]
[210]
Marco August 20 – 25 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 991 Lesser Antilles, Venezuela, Central America, Greater Antilles, Yucatán Peninsula, Gulf Coast of the United States ≥ $35 million 1 [209][517]
Omar August 31 – September 5 Tropical storm 40 (65) 1003 Southeastern United States, Bermuda, Scotland None None
Nana September 1 – 3 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 994 Lesser Antilles, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Central America, Southeastern Mexico ≥ $20 million None [210]
Paulette September 7 – 23 Category 2 hurricane 105 (165) 965 Cabo Verde Islands, Bermuda, East Coast of the United States, Azores, Madeira > $50 million 1 [243][517]
Rene September 7 – 14 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1001 Senegal, The Gambia, Cabo Verde Islands None None
Sally September 11 – 18 Category 2 hurricane 105 (165) 965 The Bahamas, Cuba, Southeastern United States $7.3 billion 8 [518][519][520][521]
[210]
Teddy September 12 – 23 Category 4 hurricane 140 (220) 945 Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Bermuda, East Coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada > $35 million 3 [291][292][517]
Vicky September 14 – 17 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1000 Cabo Verde Islands Minimal 1 [304]
Beta September 17 – 23 Tropical storm 60 (95) 994 Mexico, Gulf Coast of the United States ≥ $400 million 1 [320][517]
Wilfred September 18 – 21 Tropical storm 40 (65) 1007 None None None
Alpha September 18 – 19 Subtropical storm 50 (85) 996 Iberian Peninsula > $1 million 1 [522][210]
Gamma October 2 – 6 Tropical storm 70 (110) 980 Cayman Islands, Central America, Yucatán Peninsula > $100 million 7 [345][517]
Delta October 5 – 10 Category 4 hurricane 145 (230) 953 Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Central America, Yucatán Peninsula, Gulf Coast of the United States $4.19 billion 6 [373][374][375][376]
[523]
Epsilon October 19 – 26 Category 3 hurricane 115 (185) 951 Bermuda Minimal None
Zeta October 24 – 29 Category 2 hurricane 110 (175) 970 Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Central America, Yucatán Peninsula, Gulf Coast of the United States, East Coast of the United States ≥ $3.8 billion 8 [412][414][524]
Eta October 31 – November 13 Category 4 hurricane 150 (240) 923 ABC Islands, San Andrés and Providencia, Central America, Mexico, Greater Antilles, The Bahamas, Southeastern United States ≥ $7.9 billion ≥ 211 [435][436][437][438]
[439][440][441]
Theta November 10 – 15 Tropical storm 70 (110) 989 Canary Islands, Madeira None None
Iota November 13 – 18 Category 5 hurricane 160 (260) 917 ABC Islands, Venezuela, Colombia, San Andrés and Providencia, Central America, Mexico ≥ $1.4 billion ≥ 61 [435]
Season aggregates
31 systems May 16 – November 18   160 (260) 917 > $51.146 billion ≥ 431  

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Hurricanes reaching Category 3 (111 miles per hour or 179 kilometers per hour) and higher on the five-level Saffir–Simpson wind speed scale are considered major hurricanes.[1]
  2. ^ All monetary values are in 2020 United States dollars unless otherwise noted.
  3. ^ The 10th hurricane in 2010[70] and in 2012[71][72] also formed in October, though in both instances the storm strengthened into a hurricane after October 20.
  4. ^ According to the NHC's protocol, a tropical cyclone that dissipates in one basin and reforms in another is given a different name.

References

  1. ^ "Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale". Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on June 20, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  2. ^ Masters, Jeff (November 15, 2020). "Hurricane Iota rapidly intensifies ahead of expected landfall near Nicaragua-Honduras border". New Haven, Connecticut: Yale Center for Environmental Communication, Yale School of the Environment. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Klotzbach, Philip [@philklotzbach] (August 27, 2020). "Table of 11 strongest hurricanes to make landfall in Louisiana on record (since 1851) based on maximum sustained wind" (Tweet). Retrieved August 27, 2020 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ Philip Klotzbach [@philklotzbach] (November 8, 2020). "Tropical Storm #Eta has made landfall in Lower Matecumbe Key, FL" (Tweet). Retrieved November 12, 2020 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Philip Klotzbach [@philklotzbach] (November 16, 2020). "For the first time on record, the Atlantic has had two major #hurricane formations in November" (Tweet). Retrieved November 16, 2020 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Miller, Kimberly; McGrath, Gareth (April 6, 2020) [April 2, 2020]. "Hurricanes in a pandemic: 'Absolutely that's our nightmare scenario'". usatoday.com. USA TODAY Network. Archived from the original on April 3, 2020. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  7. ^ Shepherd, Marshall (July 22, 2020). "Coronavirus And An Active Hurricane Season Are Bad News – 3 Concerns As Gonzalo Forms". forbes.com. Forbes Media. Archived from the original on July 25, 2020. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  8. ^ Schultz, James M.; Fugate, Craig; Galea, Sandro (August 12, 2020). "Cascading Risks of COVID-19 Resurgence During an Active 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season" (PDF). Journal of the American Medical Association. 324 (10): 935. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.15398. S2CID 221166201. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 15, 2020. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  9. ^ "Background Information: The North Atlantic Hurricane Season". Climate Prediction Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. August 9, 2012. Archived from the original on September 22, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Atlantic hurricane best track (HURDAT version 2)" (Database). United States National Hurricane Center. May 25, 2020.
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