TAMPA, Fla. - A record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season officially comes to an end on Nov. 30, and it was one of the history books.
The season produced 30 named storms. Five of the 12 storms that hit the continental U.S. made landfall in Louisiana. However, it's important to note tropical storms could continue to develop past Monday, reports NOAA.
“We can certainly see activity bleed over into December,” said Mike Brennan, branch chief for hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center. “We’ve seen it before.”
The list of hurricane names had to resort to the Greek alphabet, for only the second time ever. Six of the storms were considered major hurricanes with winds topping 111 miles per hour, not to mention the season overlapped with the pandemic.
As for Florida, the state was affected by four named storms, including Hurricane Sally. It made landfall in September in Alabama, near the Florida state line, and brought massive storm surge and rain to the Panhandle. Officials report three people were killed as a result of Sally. The storm caused as much as $100 million in damage, mostly to the agriculture industry.
In early November, Eta followed an odd path after striking Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane, then making a loop before heading to Florida.
It first made landfall down in the Florida Keys. Then, Eta made a second Florida landfall near Cedar Key and sped away, leaving behind a soaked Tampa Bay. Eta was the only storm to make a direct landfall in Florida as a tropical storm.
This season had the most storms on record and marks the second time in history when the Greek alphabet was used. Hurricane Iota was the last storm to form this season and was the second to blast Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast in two weeks.
Back in 2005, there were 28 named storms, making that year the second-highest number of hurricanes on record.
Past research has shown that hurricanes across the globe are moving slower and stalling more, perhaps due to man-made climate change, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate and hurricane scientist Jim Kossin.
So far this year, Eta, Zeta, Beta, Sally and Isaias stalled or slowed, but it is too soon to tell if there’s any pattern, Brennan said.
NOAA reports that climate factors influenced the record-breaking season, including La Nina, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures, and wind shear in the Atlantic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report