Kenton Gewecke is the chief meteorologist for KOMU 8 and is on KOMU 8 News at 6, 9 and 10 p.m.
Chances are, you know the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been extremely active, breaking records... crushing records. Now, with Iota, the records are really piling up.
First, remember that Hurricane Eta made landfall in Nicaragua on November 3, 2020 as a category 4. Eta was the 28th named storm this season, tying 2005 for the most. Please note that before 2005 there had only ever been 20 named storms in a single season. Eta was also the 12th landfalling storm in the U.S. this season, crushing the old 1916 record of 9. In the U.S., Eta made landfall in Florida along the Keys and again north of Tampa.
Two category 4 hurricanes make landfall within two weeks of each other, within 15 miles of each other. In November.This is unprecedented for multiple reasons. pic.twitter.com/H2wKozMOUu— Kenton Gewecke (@KentonGewecke) November 17, 2020
Iota is the first category 5 hurricane in 2020. It made landfall within 15 miles from where Eta hit in Nicaragua just two weeks prior.
Here are some records Iota has created:
- First November with 2 major hurricanes (Cat. 3 or higher)
- Fourth major hurricane since Oct. 1, previous record was 2
- 2020 is now the 5th consecutive year with a category 5 hurricane. This is the first time this has happened.
- Iota is the latest category 5 hurricane on record beating Nov. 8, 1932 by a week.
- Tenth named storm to rapidly intensify this season (35 mph+ in 24 hours) tying 1995
- Never have two category 4+ hurricanes hit the same landfall location within less than 50 miles within two weeks of each other. That, combined with the fact that it is November and major hurricanes are extremely rare this month adds to the unprecedented nature of this event and this season.
- 30th named storm
- First storm named in the Greek alphabet to become a category 5
There is a chance that tropical storm Kappa will be named as the 31st storm of 2020 by the end of this week and later make landfall somewhere between Panama and southern Nicaragua.
More seasons like this are expected as our world continues to warm. Tropical cyclones love warm ocean water. This fuel will only continue to create more hurricanes, stronger hurricanes, and more damage to property and human life as our climate continues to change rapidly. This doesn't mean every season will be like this. It means similar seasons will increasingly become more frequent.