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Theta propels 2020 Atlantic hurricane season into the record books

Wednesday, November 11th 2020, 8:09 pm - As Theta came to life Monday night, it catapulted the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season into the top spot for most named storms in a year.

With Theta now here, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has officially claimed the No. 1 spot for most named storms in a year.

The current season has now churned out 29 named storms, topping the single-season record of 28 storms from 2005, which is infamous for producing powerful hurricanes such as Katrina, Wilma and Rita.

Record Atlantic season

The rise of Theta comes with another jaw-dropping statistic -- it is the latest in the calendar year that two storms were churning simultaneously in the Atlantic basin since Nov. 10, 1932, according to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University. As Theta roared to life, Eta continued to push through the Gulf of Mexico after making landfall in Florida.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are given names from the Latin alphabet, but when the number of storms exceeds 21, they are given Greek names instead. That happened as early as September this year with the rise of Alpha, and has continued since then.


Another interesting figure from this year's 2020 season is the number of named October storms. Based on 30-year climatology (1981-2010), the Atlantic basin typically sees two named storms in October. This year had five storms, all in the Greek Alphabet -- Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta and Eta. Three of those storms became hurricanes and Delta and Epsilon were considered major (Category 3 or higher).

As well, the record-tying storm, Eta -- from the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet -- was the first storm in history to be given that moniker.


While Theta developed as a subtropical storm, it has since become a tropical storm. It is currently about 945 km southwest of the Azores, heading east-northeast near 20 km/h, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.


Theta has maximum sustained winds are near 95 km/h, with little change in strength expected during the next couple of days. Some slow weakening is expected by later this week. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect and Theta should pose no hazards to land.

The hurricane season doesn't officially end until Nov. 30.

Thumbnail is satellite image of Hurricane Laura, taken in August 2020. It is courtesy of NOAA.

Source: AccuWeather

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