Hurricane season is officially ending but there’s still activity

Hurricane Laura
Hurricane Laura

Given that our hurricane season is supposed to begin June 1, but actually started May 16 with Arthur and then Bertha May 17, it should surprise no one that while today marks the official end of the season, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring a far-eastern Atlantic system:

40% chance for development in the orange area

What a season this has been with 31 tropical depressions. Of those, a record-setting 30 tropical storms developed. Thirteen reached hurricane status and 6 became Category 3 or higher (major) hurricanes. No one predicted such a season and the highest ANY service forecasted was the National Hurricane Center with 25 storms predicted in their late-season August update. Reminds me of Etch-A-Sketch.

Hurricane Season 2020

A few highlights include Hurricane Cristobal in early June which seems so long ago when it struck Louisiana (foreshadowing, right?). Fifteen total deaths occurred from that storm and by mid-July Texas found itself the target of Hurricane Hanna. One death occurred along the Florida coast and four in Mexico. In south Texas, there was $775 million in damages.

Isaias in the Bahamas and North Carolina in early August walloped Wilmington with total damages of almost $5 billion. And, of course, all eyes were on Laura in late August (Harvey anniversary) as the SE Texas coast looked to be a target. As it turned out, Laura’s 150-mph winds would strike Cameron, Louisiana, and the Lake Charles area. Laura caused 77 deaths and $14 billion in damage.

September proved the most active storm month on record. Sally struck Alabama/Florida while Delta and Zeta affected Louisiana. Eta flooded south Florida after ravaging Central America, soon to be followed by Iota and once again in Nicaragua and Honduras were in the crosshairs. A record 12 storms struck the U.S. this season:

Twelve Tropical Strikes to the US

All told, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season took 436 lives. Damages to the U.S. alone reached $41 billion.

So now what?

From tropical floods to a tropical freeze. Get ready for temperatures across our region tonight from 28° to 35°. Just one night, but a reminder that December to February is meteorological winter.

NWS Forecast for tonight's freeze

Stay safe and stay warm!


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About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.