The 2020 Hurricane season is still going strong. Hurricane Zeta is heading towards the Gulf Coast-- which makes the 27th named storm of the season-- and the 11th potential U.S. landfall. This nearly ties the record set in 2005 of 28 named storms-- although we’ve already reached 28 storms in total including tropical and sub-tropical waves. This season has already broken tons of records-- in both storm number, and intensity. While 2005 had more devastating storms-- the storms in 2020 are being recorded a lot sooner than in years past. In 2005-- we hadn’t made it too far into the Greek Alphabet by the time the season ended. 2020 has changed that. While the number of storms are fewer-- 2020 has seen more names come and go than previous seasons.
The season started early with Tropical Storm Arthur on May 16, 2020. It only lasted a few days before downgrading to a Tropical Depression. The first hurricane came as Hurricane Hanna-- which started as a tropical storm before making landfall as a Category 1 near Padre Island, Texas. This was quickly followed by Isaias-- which stirred up some trouble offshore on the Atlantic coast of Florida-- before making landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane. CNN reports Hurricane Laura is the strongest U.S. landfall this season-- at a Category 4 when it made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana on August 27. With Hurricane Zeta headed for the Gulf Coast-- Louisiana could see its fifth landfall in this season alone. Meanwhile, the areas of Florida most prone to hurricanes haven't seen so much as a tropical storm. The East coast saw a little wind and rain from Isaias earlier this season-- but not much compared to what that area has seen in year’s past.
The 2020 season has also seen a lot of short lived named storms-- which adds to our overall storm total. Many storms have been small tropical storms or mild hurricanes and have only lasted a few days.
The Panhandle of Florida also hasn’t seen much storm activity. The one exception has been Hurricane Sally-- which slammed into Gulf Shores, Alabama with winds over 121 miles per hour. Since landfall was just on the border-- areas like Panama City Beach-- previously devastated by Hurricane Michael in 2018-- weren’t too badly affected. The area across the panhandle saw mostly tropical storm level damages.
2020 has been an unfortunate year due to the coronavirus. This also raised concerns for hurricane shelters in Florida should a storm come knocking. Would it be safe to house hundreds of people in a large arena-- and still social distance and wear masks? It didn’t seem possible. Luckily-- most U.S. landfalls have been relatively minor and haven’t required many mass evacuations. The predictions for this hurricane season called for an above average active hurricane season.
If your home or business is damaged by a hurricane, there are things you can do. You can contact our client services and get started with a claim to get your home or business repaired. Check and make sure your insurance is up to date in case you need to file a claim.
While the 2020 hurricane season may not be over until November 30-- it's always a good idea to be prepared. Keep a hurricane kit handy with things like non-perishable food, batteries and a generator, water, and other supplies for several days in case of loss of power. It's also a good idea to have cash on hand since it may take a while to get ATM's and other card machines up and running after a storm. It’s also good to have your hurricane shutters checked and make sure they’re secure in the event you need to put them in place. If you plan to evacuate-- make sure you have enough fuel to get you there-- so you don’t get stuck in evacuation traffic and end up running out of gas along the highway.
The 2020 Hurricane Season has been unlike any other-- and it’s not over yet. With just under a month to go before the official end of the season-- there’s no telling what the tropics could bring. While traditionally October and November bring a drop in tropical activity-- a storm could spin up at any time. It’s important to stay vigilant, keep documents up to date, and be prepared at a moment’s notice. Always remember-- it only takes one storm in an area to make it an active hurricane season for that specific region.