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How historic is the 2020 hurricane season?

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season might end up with the most named storms in Atlantic hurricane history.
Credit: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
Linda Smoot, who evacuated from Hurricane Laura in a pickup truck with eight others, reacts as they return to see the damaged home of her niece for the first time, in Lake Charles, La., in the aftermath of the hurricane, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — One year ago on this date, we had 12 named storms for the Atlantic hurricane season at this point in the year. The year 2019 would go on to have another six named storms. 

With Tropical Storm Delta named Monday morning, 2020 has now had 25 named storms. At this rate, the number of named storms will go over 30. That has never happened before.

The record is the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season when 27 storms were named.

The original NOAA forecast called for up to 25 named storms this season, with 7-10 becoming hurricanes. Among those hurricanes, 3-6 were expected to be major, classified as Category 3, 4 and 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher. 

That's far above an average year, which is 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

So far this year, we’ve had the 25 named storms. Of those, eight have been hurricanes with two major hurricanes. We’ve had so many named storms this year that the entire name list was used. 

This means we had to go to the Greek alphabet for names. We’ve now used four of those names, with Delta being the latest.

The last time the Greek alphabet was used in the Atlantic was in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina. With a total of 27 storms that year, the first six letters of the Greek alphabet were used: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta.

With October and November yet to go until the season officially ends, the 2020 season could end up setting the record for most named storms.

With the formation of Tropical Storm Delta on Monday, we are only two named storms away from a tie with 2005 as the most active hurricane season, with nearly two months left to go.

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