The 2020 hurricane season is one for the record books. While the Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and runs through November 30, hurricanes can form at any time. The first storm of the 2020 season, Tropical Storm Arthur, formed on May 16, 2020 and was followed by Tropical Storm Bertha on May 27, 2020. The busy season continued and the predetermined list of 21 storm names was used up by September 18, 2020 with Tropical Storm Wilfred. From there, nine more storms formed that were given Greek alphabet letters for names. This has only happened once before, in 2005. In total, there were 30 named storms, 10 of which formed in a very busy September. Of those 30 storms, 13 of them turned into hurricanes and 6 of those were major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). For comparison, a typical season has six hurricanes with three of them being major hurricanes. 12 of the storms hit the U.S. coastline, which was also a record. The previous record was 9 landfalls back in 1916.
“As we correctly predicted, an interrelated set of atmospheric and oceanic conditions linked to the warm AMO (Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation) were again present this year. These included warmer-than-average Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a stronger west African monsoon, along with much weaker vertical wind shear and wind patterns coming off of Africa that were more favorable for storm development. These conditions, combined with La Nina, helped make this record-breaking, extremely active hurricane season possible,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. This was the 5th consecutive above-normal hurricane season. This dataset, created from an archive of the Clouds - Real-time dataset, runs from May 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020 and shows the name and location of each of the storms through the season.