The U.S. National Hurricane Center has announced that it has broken the record for the most named hurricane season in 2020, with 26 hurricanes in the previous 2005 hurricane season. After the tropical storm, Theta became the 29th storm in the Atlantic this year. True to the spirit of 2020, this year’s Atlantic hurricane season was the busiest on record.
The storm is currently blowing at 104 kilometers (65 miles) per hour, with maximum winds blowing over the highest Atlantic Ocean. The agreement was sealed after the tropical storm Theta turned into a naming storm on the evening of 10 November.
Storms are named when they hit winds of up to 62 kilometers (39 miles) per hour. The name is taken from one of six of the 21 names in the alphabetical order created by the World Meteorological Organization (avoiding the letters T, Q, U, X, Y, and A). However, this year they finished their list of names and were forced to return to the Greek alphabet with the names Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, and Theta.
The season has surpassed even their most extreme forecast. On top of this new record, 2020 also saw 12 hurricane landings in the mainland United States, three more than the record set in 1916. The Atlantic hurricane season will run from June 1st to November 30th, peaking between late August and September. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted that this busy hurricane season was likely in May.
The rocky hurricane season is likely to be the result of a cocktail of climatic factors that have swept across the planet.
The first reason is associated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation, a climate cycle that describes the temperature fluctuations between the oceans and atmosphere of the East-Central Pacific Ocean, which has a profound effect on the weather and climate of the entire planet. El Niño generally refers to the warmer periods, when the waters of the warmest surface of the Pacific Ocean sit on the coast of northwestern South America, while La Nina refers to winter when the east-central Pacific Ocean has low-average sea surface temperatures.
El Niño helps intensify hurricane activity in the Central and Eastern Pacific Basins while suppressing the Atlantic Basin. The planet saw a moving La Nina this year, meaning the Atlantic hurricane activity was unsatisfactory.
All of these factors are known to increase the likelihood of hurricanes in the Atlantic. Second, as predicted, this year saw warmer average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and a developed West African monsoon. Although it is unclear how this hurricane season was affected by the world’s deepest climate crisis, it is now known that sea surface temperatures from human-driven climate change could increase the intensity and destructiveness of gradual tropical storms.