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2020 Atlantic hurricane season facts for kids

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The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season ever recorded, breaking the record of 2005. It had thirty-one tropical or subtropical cyclones, thirty named storms, thirteen hurricanes, and six major hurricanes. It had over twenty tropical storms that broke formation date records. The season happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, making it harder to evacuate and give help to people who needed it.

Quick facts for kids
2020 Atlantic hurricane season
Season summary map
First storm formed May 16, 2020
Last storm dissipated November 18, 2020
Strongest storm Iota – 917 mbar (hPa) (27.09 inHg), 160 mph (260 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Total depressions 31 (record high, tied with 2005)
Total storms 30 (record high)
Hurricanes 13
Major hurricanes (Cat. 3+) 6
Total fatalities ≥ 409 total
Total damage > $46.909 billion (2020 USD)
Atlantic hurricane seasons
2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

Season summary

Hurricane IotaHurricane EtaHurricane ZetaHurricane DeltaHurricane SallyHurricane LauraHurricane IsaiasHurricane Hanna (2020)Tropical Storm Bertha (2020)Tropical Storm Arthur (2020)Saffir–Simpson scale

Storms

Tropical Storm Arthur

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration May 16 – May 19
Intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min),  991 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Arthur was an early storm. It formed on May 16 from a stormy area near Cuba, and caused damage in Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina, as well as The Bahamas and Bermuda. Even though the storm was somewhat strong, it only lasted three days.

Tropical Storm Bertha

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration May 27 – May 28
Intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min),  1004 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Bertha was an early storm as well. While it only lasted one day, it caused some damage in The Bahamas and Southern United States. It also led to the Crew Dragon Demo-2 flight being delayed.

Tropical Storm Cristobal

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration June 1 – June 10
Intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min),  992 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Cristobal was the earliest third named storm on record. The storm had formed from clouds left-over by Tropical Storm Amanda. The storm formed in the Bay of Campeche, devastated Mexico, and stalled, before hitting Louisiana. The storm then traveled up to Wisconsin, as a weaker tropical depression, before becoming post-tropical.

Tropical Storm Dolly

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration June 22 – June 24
Intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min),  1002 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Dolly was a short-lived storm. It formed on June 22 as a subtropical system, becoming tropical on June 23, as it reached tropical storm status, and dissipated on June 24.

Tropical Storm Edouard

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration July 4 – July 6
Intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min),  1007 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Edouard formed in an unusual time of the year, in July. It formed on July 4, and reached tropical storm status on July 6. After reaching tropical storm status, it became the earliest fifth named storm.

Tropical Storm Fay

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration July 9 – July 11
Intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min),  998 mbar (hPa)

Earliest sixth named storm. Tropical Storm Fay formed off the coast of the Carolinas and then struck New Jersey as a tropical storm, weakening inland.

Tropical Storm Gonzalo

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration July 21 – July 25
Intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min),  997 mbar (hPa)

Earliest seventh named storm. Nearly made a landfall in Guyana.

Hurricane Hanna

Category 1 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration July 23 – July 27
Intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min),  973 mbar (hPa)

In July 23, Hanna formed in the Gulf of Mexico, from a tropical wave. On July 24, it reached tropical storm status, becoming the earliest named eighth storm. The storm rapidly strengthened, becoming a hurricane on July 25. It then before hitting Texas later that day. The damage was bad, as a pandemic was growing at that time.

Hurricane Isaias

Category 1 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration July 30 – August 5
Intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min),  987 mbar (hPa)

Isaias was a bad storm. It hit the Bahamas, before moving up the east coast of the United States, making landfall in North Carolina. Before the storm formed, it was broad and disorganized, but upon being named on July 30, Isaias became the earliest ninth named storm ever recorded. It then moved up into the Dominican Republic, and then into the Bahamas. It then traveled off the coast of the United States, and hit North Carolina. Isaias caused over $4.2 billion dollars worth of damage.

Tropical Depression Ten

Tropical depression (SSHS)
Duration July 31 – August 2
Intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min),  1007 mbar (hPa)

Tropical depression Ten formed on July 31, but failed to strengthen due to harsh conditions. The storm moved slowly, and dissipated on August 2. Some tropical storm force winds were found in the center of the system by the National Hurricane Center, but they said it was bloated.


Tropical Storm Josephine

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration August 11 – August 16
Intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min),  1004 mbar (hPa)

Earliest tenth named storm.

Tropical Storm Kyle

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration August 14 – August 16
Intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min),  1000 mbar (hPa)

Earliest eleventh named storm, breaking the record of Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Laura

Category 4 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration August 20 – August 29
Intensity 150 mph (240 km/h) (1-min),  937 mbar (hPa)

On August 20, a tropical wave organized into a tropical depression. The next day, the depression, which was originally disorganized, strengthened into Tropical Storm Laura. Upon reaching tropical storm status, it became the earliest twelfth tropical storm in the Atlantic. The system then passed over the Leeward Islands, passing south of Puerto Rico. The system made landfall on the Dominican Republic, but the system had not lost any strength, despite the mountainous terrain. The system then made landfall in Cuba twice, before becoming a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico on August 24. The storm underwent rapid intensification, becoming a category 2 hurricane on August 25. Laura became a major hurricane (Category 3) 9 hours later. The storm then became a Category 4 6 hours later. Its highest winds were 150 mph. The storm hit Louisiana around that time. After going over Louisiana, the system quickly weakened, and lost its life over Kentucky.

In Louisiana, buildings were damaged very badly by the storm. The highest winds were reported at 95 miles per hour in Lake Charles, along with a gust of 137 miles per hour also in Lake Charles. Damage was the worst in Lake Charles, where almost every house had a tarp on it to keep out rain after their roofs had been destroyed. Luckily, even though a push of water was suppose to be more than 15 feet in places, at last minute, it moved to the west, pushing all the water into places with less people.

Hurricane Marco

Category 1 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration August 20 – August 25
Intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min),  991 mbar (hPa)

Earliest thirteenth named storm.

Tropical Storm Omar

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration August 31 – September 5
Intensity 40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min),  1003 mbar (hPa)

Earliest fifteenth named storm. Very unusual track.

Hurricane Nana

Category 1 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration September 1 – September 4
Intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min),  994 mbar (hPa)

Earliest fourteenth named storm. Formed after Omar, but strengthened into a tropical storm before Omar.

Hurricane Paulette

Category 2 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration September 7 – September 23
Intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min),  965 mbar (hPa)

Earliest sixteenth named storm. It then made a very rare landfall in Bermuda, and then dissipated. After it dissipated, it became a tropical storm again. Because of this, people called it a "zombie storm," because it came back after dissipating.

Tropical Storm Rene

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration September 7 – September 14
Intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min),  1000 mbar (hPa)

Earliest seventeenth named storm.

Hurricane Sally

Category 2 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration September 11 – September 17
Intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min),  965 mbar (hPa)

Earliest eighteenth named storm.

Hurricane Teddy

Category 4 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration September 12 – September 24
Intensity 140 mph (220 km/h) (1-min),  945 mbar (hPa)

Earliest nineteenth named storm.This storm formed and eventually became a category 4, before weakening and hitting Newfoundland with winds 65 mph.

Tropical Storm Vicky

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration September 14 – September 17
Intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min),  1002 mbar (hPa)

Earliest twentieth named storm.

Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration September 17 – September 23
Intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min),  994 mbar (hPa)

Earliest twenty-third named storm.

Tropical Storm Wilfred

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration September 18 – September 21
Intensity 40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min),  1007 mbar (hPa)

Earliest twenty-first named storm.

Subtropical Storm Alpha

Subtropical storm (SSHS)
Duration September 18 – September 19
Intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min),  996 mbar (hPa)

Earliest twenty-second named storm. Made an extremely rare landfall in mainland Europe. Made 2020 only the second season to use the Greek Alphabet.

Tropical Storm Gamma

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration October 2 – October 6
Intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min),  980 mbar (hPa)

Earliest twenty-fourth named storm.

Hurricane Delta

Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHS)
Duration October 5 – October 11
Intensity 230 km/h (145 mph) (1-min),  953 hPa (mbar)

Earliest twenty-fifth named storm. Made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2, causing catastrophic damage.

Hurricane Epsilon

Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHS)
Duration October 19 – October 26
Intensity 185 km/h (115 mph) (1-min),  951 hPa (mbar)

Earliest twenty-sixth named storm. Fourth major hurricane of the season.

Hurricane Zeta

Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHS)
Duration October 24 – 29
Intensity 175 km/h (110 mph) (1-min),  970 hPa (mbar)

Earliest twenty-seventh named storm. Caused damage in the Southeast United States. Brought snow to New England.

Hurricane Eta

Category 4 tropical cyclone (SSHS)
Duration October 31 – November 13
Intensity 240 km/h (150 mph) (1-min),  923 hPa (mbar)

Earliest twenty-eight named storm. Became a powerful Category 4 hurricane. Struck Central America, Cuba, and Florida.

Tropical Storm Theta

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration October 10 – November 15
Intensity 110 km/h (70 mph) (1-min),  989 hPa (mbar)

On November 10, Subtropical Storm Theta formed, making the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record. The next day, the storm transitioned into a tropical storm, as it peaked with winds of 70 mph (110 km/h). The storm then weakened, but restrengthened to reach 65 mph (105 km/h), before weakening, and eventually dissipating on July 15.

Hurricane Iota

Category 5 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration November 13 – November 18
Intensity 160 mph (260 km/h) (1-min),  917 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Iota was a deadly and damaging storm that hit Central America on November 17. Forming in the Caribbean Sea, the storm strengthened a lot rapidly, becoming the second Category 5 to form on November, reaching Category 5 status on November 16.

Season effects

This is a table of all the storms that have formed in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It includes their duration, names, landfall(s), denoted in parentheses, damages, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect (an example of an indirect death would be a traffic accident), but were still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a tropical wave, or a low, and all the damage figures are in USD. Potential tropical cyclones are not included in this table.

Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
2020 North Atlantic tropical cyclone season statistics
Storm
name
Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
wind
mph (km/h)
Min.
press.
(mbar)
Areas affected Damage
(USD)
Deaths Refs


Arthur May 16 – 19 Tropical storm 60 (95) 990 Southeastern United States, The Bahamas, Bermuda $112,000 None
Bertha May 27 – 28 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1005 Southeastern United States, The Bahamas > $130,000 1
Cristobal June 1 – 10 Tropical storm 60 (95) 992 Central America, Mexico, Central United States, Great Lakes Region, Eastern Canada ≥ $665 million 15
Dolly June 22 – 24 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1002 East Coast of the United States, Atlantic CanadaNone None None
Edouard July 4 – 6 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1007 Bermuda, British Isles, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Western Russia Minimal None
Fay July 9 – 11 Tropical storm 60 (95) 998 East Coast of the United States, Eastern Canada ≥ $350 million 6
Gonzalo July 21 – 25 Tropical storm 65 (100) 997 Windward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela Minimal None
Hanna July 23 – 27 Category 1 hurricane 90 (150) 973 Greater Antilles, Gulf Coast of the United States, Mexico ≥ $875 million 5
Isaias July 30 – August 5 Category 1 hurricane 85 (140) 987 Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas, East Coast of the United States, Eastern Canada $4.725 billion 18


Ten July 31 – August 2 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1007 Cabo Verde Islands None None
Josephine August 11 – 16 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1004 None None None
Kyle August 14 – 16 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1000 The Carolinas None None
Laura August 20 – 29 Category 4 hurricane 150 (240) 937 Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Yucatán Peninsula, Southern United States ≥ $16.1 billion 77


Marco August 20 – 25 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 991 Lesser Antilles, Venezuela, Central America, Greater Antilles, Yucatán Peninsula, Gulf Coast of the United States ≥ $35 million 1
Omar August 31 – September 5 Tropical storm 40 (65) 1003 Southeastern United States, Bermuda, Scotland None None
Nana September 1 – 4 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 994 Lesser Antilles, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Central America, Southeastern Mexico ≥ $20 million None
Paulette September 7 – 23 Category 2 hurricane 105 (165) 965 Cabo Verde Islands, Bermuda, East Coast of the United States, Azores, Madeira > $50 million 1
Rene September 7 – 14 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1000 Senegal, The Gambia, Cabo Verde Islands Minimal None
Sally September 11 – 18 Category 2 hurricane 105 (165) 965 The Bahamas, Cuba, Southeastern United States ≥ $6.26 billion 8
Teddy September 12 – 23 Category 4 hurricane 140 (220) 945 Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Bermuda, East Coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada > $35 million 3
Vicky September 14 – 17 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1000 Cabo Verde Islands Minimal 1
Beta September 17 – 23 Tropical storm 60 (95) 994 Mexico, Gulf Coast of the United States ≥ $400 million 1
Wilfred September 18 – 21 Tropical storm 40 (65) 1007 None None None
Alpha September 18 – 19 Subtropical storm 50 (85) 996 Iberian Peninsula > $1 million 1
Gamma October 2 – 6 Tropical storm 70 (110) 980 Cayman Islands, Central America, Yucatán Peninsula > $100 million 7
Delta October 5 – 10 Category 4 hurricane 145 (230) 953 Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Central America, Yucatán Peninsula, Gulf Coast of the United States $4.19 billion 6
Epsilon October 19 – 26 Category 3 hurricane 115 (185) 951 Bermuda Minimal None
Zeta October 24 – 29 Category 2 hurricane 110 (175) 970 Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Central America, Yucatán Peninsula, Gulf Coast of the United States, East Coast of the United States ≥ $3.8 billion 8
Eta October 31 – November 13 Category 4 hurricane 150 (240) 923 ABC Islands, Jamaica, San Andrés and Providencia, Central America, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Cuba, The Bahamas, Southeastern United States ≥ $7.9 billion ≥ 189
Theta November 10 – 15 Tropical storm 70 (110) 989 Canary Islands, Madeira None None
Iota November 13 – 18 Category 5 hurricane 160 (260) 917 ABC Islands, Venezuela, Colombia, San Andrés and Providencia, Central America, Mexico $1.4 billion ≥ 61
Season Aggregates
31 systems May 16 – November 18   160 (260) 917 > $46.906 billion ≥ 409  

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