DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — Monday, Nov. 30 is the official end of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and there is no denying that it is a welcomed sigh of relief for America’s coastal states and the people who call them home.
U.S. shores were shattered this year in what was an historic, record-smashing Atlantic hurricane season.
It was the most active hurricane season on record. Thirteen hurricanes brought turbulent rain, wind, and storm surge that battered parts of Central America and the Gulf Coast.
“I’ve been here 17 years and I’ve never seen it this bad,” said one Florida resident as she braced for Hurricane Eta.
Millions were impacted by the sheer strength and frequency of the season. Thousands of Americans were forced to evacuate inland like Louisianans who got hit by five systems in 2020 alone.
“A lot of people may fear the alligators in the water, we mainly fear that change in the wind,” said one Lake Charles, Louisiana, resident before Hurricane Laura leveled much of the city.
There were 30 named storms from Arthur to Iota — an average season has 12. It was so many that the World Meteorological Organization resorted to the Greek alphabet to continue naming them following Wilfred.
Only once has that been done before, and that was in 2005.
“And there’s no indication that this increased activity is ending,” said Dr. Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
He says two factors played into making 2020 unforgiving: Ripe conditions over the Atlantic, and then La Nina over the Pacific — which weakens the Atlantic’s wind shear.
“So when you have this combination of conditions both in the Atlantic and the Pacific, that really sets you up for an extremely active season like we saw this year,” said Dr. Bell. “We’ve seen these conditions before, and unfortunately we’ll see them again.”
This was the fifth consecutive season with above-normal hurricane activity, and folks from Florida to Texas felt the blow. Weather experts say it’s too early to predict what next year has in store. In the meantime, urging Americans to prepare while they still have time before the next season takes them by surprise.
Dr. Bell reiterated that just because Nov. 30 marks the end of hurricane season does not mean we are in the clear until next year. He says right now his NOAA team has no data that indicates another monster hurricane before the end of the year. The next official hurricane season will officially start back up June 1, 2021.