GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — We’re over a month into 2021, but we can’t forget how crazy of a year 2020 was for weather, especially hurricanes.
Before it even began in June, tropical storms Arthur and Bertha had already formed. By the end of July, nine storms had been named, breaking the first record of the season.
On Sept. 18, Tropical Storm Wilfred formed, crossing off the last name on the Atlantic hurricane list. For only the second time in recorded history, the Greek alphabet had to be used for the rest of the season.
The season didn’t end there by any means, breaking records with four major hurricanes forming after Oct. 1st, and nine Greek letters used, the last of which, Iota, intensified by mid-November, making it the latest calendar year category 5 hurricane on record.
For reference, an average hurricane season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. In 2020, we saw 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall in the continental United States, breaking the previous record of nine in 1916. Thirteen became hurricanes, including six major hurricanes. The last time any season came close to this one was in 2005 with 28 named storms.
Atlantic hurricanes even broke records in Europe, with Alpha being the easternmost-forming named storm on record, and the first-ever named cyclone to make landfall in Portugal.
Unfortunately, an early outlook from Colorado State University forecasts another busy hurricane season in 2021. This means we need to remain weather aware and prepared this summer but hopefully enjoy some calmer conditions before hurricane season begins June 1st.