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2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season closes with record-breaking season

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Posted: Monday, November 30, 2020. 1:50 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Today marks the closing of the 2020 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 every year.

The season covers tropical cyclone activity spanning the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

 The 2020 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season was forecasted to be very active.

The initial prediction was for there to be thirteen to 13 to 19 named storms, and of those, 6 to 10 were expected to become hurricanes and 3-6 were expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger).

A subsequent forecast in August called for increased activity with a prediction of nineteen to 19-25 named storms.

An average season in the Atlantic consists of 12 named storms, six (6) hurricanes and two (2) major hurricanes.

The 2020 season turned out to be an extremely active and record-breaking season.

A total of 30 named storms formed with 13 of those named storms becoming hurricanes and 6 becoming major hurricanes, reaching Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The National Meteorlogical Service of Belize notes that the main factors that supported the extremely active 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season were:

The development of a La Nina event during the latter half of the season;

 Warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea;

 Weaker vertical wind shear over the basin; 

Weaker Tropical Atlantic trade winds. Of the thirty systems that formed during the season, Belize was affected by 4.

Of these four, one actually made direct landfall on the country.

That was hurricane Nana which made landfall over southern Belize as a category 1 hurricane on the night of Wednesday, September 2, 2020. Prior to Nana, Belize was impacted by Eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda which crossed Central America into the Gulf of Mexico and was renamed as Atlantic Basin Tropical Storm Cristobal.

This system dumped heavy rainfall across the country resulting in flooding. Later in the season, Belize was impacted by Hurricanes Eta and Iota.

Although these hurricanes did not make direct landfall on the country, they produced very heavy and continuous rainfall that resulted in severe flooding over the country.

 

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