2020 hurricane season is officially one for the record books
Theta — the 29th named storm of the Atlantic season — breaks the record for the highest number of tropical/subtropical storms in a single year. The previous record of 28 storms was set in 2005. Official records date to 1851. (A satellite photo of Theta is at the top of this home page.)
“After the historic Atlantic hurricane season of 2005, it's remarkable to have another season during my career that would reach this extreme level of activity,” said Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “NOAA’s sustained investment in computer forecast models, technology, observing systems and our skilled workforce have paid off over the last 15 years, with exponentially improved hurricane forecasts.”
Uccellini explained that today, the National Weather Service provides the advanced lead time decision makers need to evacuate vulnerable areas and stage resources ahead of landfalling storms and the impacts of strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rainfall.
“We continue to evolve to meet society’s growing needs for more weather information and better forecasts increasingly used to ensure communities are ready, responsive and resilient in the face of oncoming storms,” he said.
The 2020 season began early when Arthur formed on May 16. The extremely active season quickly went through the pre-determined list of 21 names, ending with Wilfred on September 18. Then for only the second time in history, the Greek alphabet was used for the remainder of the season, with Alpha forming the same day.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends on November 30, but additional storms could develop beyond that date. Forecasters at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center continuously monitor the tropics for storm development and activity.
Weather Service forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued an outlook in May for an above-average hurricane season and later upgraded that outlook to a rare, extremely-active season in August, ahead of the season's peak in the fall.
The above from the National Hurricane Center
FROM THE AP on Hurricane Iota WITH A LINK BELOW
A distraught Filimon Wilfred, 72, said Iota had destroyed his family’s five houses leaving its 18 members homeless in the (Nicaraguan) coastal city of Bilwi.
“The hurricane came, it destroyed my house, my daughter’s house, it destroyed five houses in total,” Wilfred said. “Where am I going to live?”
Iota struck Monday evening as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph (250 kph), very close to the force and location of Hurricane Eta two weeks earlier. By early Wednesday, Iota had been weakened by its passage over Central America and dissipated over El Salvador, where it had winds of 20 mph (45 kph). But the storm’s torrential rains remained a threat. (ESN News: from video coming out of the region, the flooding from the rains appears to be the main problem from the hurricane, although it is clear buildings were also severely damaged and some destroyed, especially in the coastal region where the storm first came onshore.)
Iota battered Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast and flooded stretches of neighboring Honduras that were still under water from Hurricane Eta.
The storm’s center passed just south of Tegucigalpa, the mountainous capital of Honduras, where residents of low-lying, flood-prone areas were evacuated, as were residents of hillside neighborhoods vulnerable to landslides.
Along Honduras’ remote eastern coast, people fled their homes as waters rose.
“What affected us most here was the flooding. The Barra Patuca sector has been flooded for the last two weeks,” said Teonela Paisano Wood, mayor of the Honduran town of Brus Laguna. “We are in danger if it keeps raining.”
Mirna Wood, vice president of the Miskito ethnic group in Honduras’ far eastern Gracias a Dios region, was in Tegucigalpa collecting donations for her community ravaged by Eta when Iota hit.
Some 40,000 people in the area had moved to shelters from low-lying land beside rivers and the sea, but others remained stranded near the border with Nicaragua. Some were rescued by Nicaraguan authorities, she said.
“We are facing an incredible emergency,” Wood said. “There is no food. There is no water.”
ESN NEWS COMMENT: Once again, we are facing serious delays in getting information from Central America about the impact of the hurricane. It is unclear if any American television network or news channel sent a reporter and camera to the region.
The video below illustrates that this was a major damaging event in the region and a warning to all of us about what can happen. We focus too often on the wind speeds. A rain event can last longer and ultimately do more damage in terms of housing and other property and loss of life.
THIS VIDEO SHOWS AFTERMATH FROM BOTH ETA AND IOTA
Helicopter and other video shows massive damage from Hurricane Iota
Aftermath of hurricane Iota
NEW VIDEO POSTED 11/20/20
VIDEO OF FLOODING AND SURVIVAL IN EL SALVADOR
New video from Nicaragua
HURRICANE MOVES INTO NICARAGUA, RANDOMIZED LIVE COVERAGE FROM NICARAGUA
Extremely dangerous rescue of a baby across sift flowing water in Nicaragua...poor video of a daring effort.
DAMAGE IN NICARAGUA AND COLUMBIA FROM HURRICANE IOTA
HONDURAS VIDEO COVERAGE
scenes from Guatemala, the aftermath of storm ETA
Hurricane coverage from European television, France 24
BUILDING COMES APART AND BLOWS AWAY/ZETA
THIS VIDEO IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHY YOU SHOULDN'T TRY DRIVING THROUGH HURRICANE STORM SURGE: YOU CAN DIE OR COME CLOSE TO IT.
LIVE FISH SWIMMING IN THE ROAD? YES
Massive waves and storm surge from the hurricane
BEING READY for a hurricane or other natural disaster can save many lives, protect property and make recovery less burdensome and quicker. ESN News, along with our not-for-profit efforts, is designed to help communities, families and businesses be ready, be safe.
WHEN TO EVACUATE? How many, what areas, should go? These are decisions carefully made by state and local leadership but ESN News is there to assist in your decision...and it ultimately is your decision about how and when to get out.
TYPICALLY, MORE PEOPLE ARE INJURED DURING THIS PHASE OF A DISASTER THAN ANY OTHER. When people return to houses and businesses, there is still great danger from falling tree limbs, collapsing structures and the hundreds of possible injuries from reconstruction. ESN News will provide additional coverage to local media whenever possible.