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2020-21 South Atlantic hurricane season (Hypercane's Version)
2020-21 SAtl Seasonal Summary Map
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed December 10, 2020
Last system dissipated March 20, 2021
Strongest storm
Name Benita
 • Maximum winds 115 mph (185 km/h)
 • Lowest pressure 966 mbar (hPa; 28.53 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions 6
Total storms 5
Hurricanes 3
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
1
Total fatalities 48
Total damage $5.5 billion (2021 USD)
Atlantic hurricane seasons
2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23

This marked the first official hurricane season for the South Atlantic Ocean in recorded history. The official bounds of the hurricane season in this basin runs from November 15 to May 31. The season was above-average in all areas as usually only 1-2 named storms formed before this season.

Timeline

Storms

Subtropical Depression One-Q

Subtropical depression (SSHWS)
Arani Mar 16 2011 1540Z 01Q (2020 - Track - Hype)
Duration December 10 – December 11
Peak intensity 30 mph (50 km/h) (1-min)
1003 mbar (hPa)


On December 8 an area of low pressure exited the eastern coast of South America. While over the moderately warm sea surface temperatures of 76°F and lower than normal wind shear convection began to flare up near the center of circulation, with the Brazilian Navy beginning to take note of future development of the system. By December 10, the system became organized enough to be declared Subtropical depression One-Q while off the coast of South America and moving to the southeast. Later that day the depression began to move into an area of higher wind shear and decreasing sea surface temperatures which caused it to begin weakening. On December 11, the depression had degenerated to a remnant low while continuing to move to the southeast away from land and dissipated completely 12 hours later.

Tropical Storm Adon

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Abela 2016-07-17 0920Z Adon (2020 - Track - Hype)
Duration December 23 – January 1
Peak intensity 45 mph (70 km/h) (1-min)
1002 mbar (hPa)


During the afternoon of December 22 an area of low pressure exited the eastern coast of South America. While the low moved over warm sea surface temperatures of 81°F convection began to develop over the center of circulation with the Brazilian Navy taking note of the developing system. Early on December 23 the system became organized enough to become Tropical Depression Two-Q. The depression was moving into an area of decreasing wind shear and warmer sea surface temperatures and on December 24 the depression was upgraded to a tropical storm, earning the name Adon. The storm peaked 12 hours later at 45 mph and 1002 millibars before it began to move into unfavorable conditions. Adon soon weakened back to a tropical depression as the convection became displaced and the system weakened overall and would remain a depression for the next couple days as it went around a ridge of high pressure. As the system began to turn to the north and east it regained tropical storm intensity as convection re-established over the center of the storm. Over the next four days it moved towards southern Africa with it making landfall on December 31 at minimal tropical storm intensity. Adon quickly weakened and degenerated to a remnant low over Africa with the remnants moving back over the South Atlantic and dissipating shortly thereafter.

Hurricane Benita

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Benita (2021 - Hype) Benita (2021 - Track - Hype)
Duration January 24 – January 29
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)
966 mbar (hPa)


On January 22 an extratropical cyclone moved off the coast of Brazil and began to be noted for possible subtropical or tropical cyclone development due to warm sea surface temperatures of 85°F. During the next couple of days convection began to develop over the low pressure center of the cyclone while detaching from its frontal systems. On January 24 it became sufficiently organized to become Tropical Depression Three-Q while moving to the southwest. Early on January 25 the depression strengthened enough to become a tropical storm and was given the name Benita while continuing on its southwesterly course. Located in a favorable environment consisting of low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures Benita continued to strengthen, gaining hurricane strength the next day on January 26 as an eye developed inside a central dense overcast. Continued strengthening ensued as the favorable conditions persisted with it gaining category two strength on January 27 as it began to turn to the west. Benita posed a significant threat to Uruguay as it curved towards the country. Another round of strengthening occurred prior to landfall with the hurricane reaching category three strength as it was making landfall, becoming the first South Atlantic major hurricane on record. The system quickly weakened to minimal hurricane status while it tracked inland with hurricane strength being lost shortly after that. By January 29 Benita had become a remnant low and dissipating completely over the State of Rio Grande Do Sul six hours later.

Tropical Storm Caolan

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Caolan (2021 - Hype) Caolan (2021 - Track - Hype)
Duration February 18 – February 21
Peak intensity 50 mph (80 km/h) (1-min)
1000 mbar (hPa)


On February 16 an extratropical cyclone located off of Namibia began to exhibit signs of transitioning into a subtropical cyclone as convection started to increase near the center of circulation and lose its frontal systems. On February 18 it became organized enough to become Subtropical Depression Four-Q while turning to the north around a trough of low pressure and twelve hours later it became a subtropical storm and earned the name Caolan. The subtropical cyclone began to have convection flare up closer to the center of circulation and became fully tropical twelve hours later while approaching the coast of Angola. On February 20 it made landfall in Angola at its peak intensity of 50 mph and 1000 millibars, and soon after it began to weaken quickly. The storm fell to tropical depression status by the next advisory as land interaction took its toll on the system, despite weakening to a tropical depression quickly it persisted at that strength for a day before degenerating to a remnant low pressure and dissipated completely twelve hours later.

Hurricane Danette

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Danette (2021 - Hype) Danette (2021 - Track - Hype)
Duration March 1 – March 5
Peak intensity 80 mph (130 km/h) (1-min)
984 mbar (hPa)


On February 28 a non-tropical area of low pressure exited the coast of the State of Santa Catarina and went over warm sea surface temperatures of 79°F. Over the warm sea surface temperatures the non-tropical low gained tropical characteristics and by March 1 the system became organized enough to be declared Tropical Depression Five-Q while moving due south initially. The depression strengthened to tropical storm strength twelve hours later and was given the name Danette, and in an environment favorable for continued strengthening the storm became a hurricane a day later while turning to the southwest and later the west. Danette got closer to the State of Rio Grande Do Sul prompting evacuation orders to take place. Shortly before the hurricane would make landfall the system weakened to a tropical storm. Danette quickly fizzled out over land and became a remnant low on March 5 and dissipating completely six hours later.

Hurricane Eben

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Kate Dec 30 2014 0430Z Eben (2021 - Track - Hype)
Duration March 14 – March 20
Peak intensity 100 mph (160 km/h) (1-min)
977 mbar (hPa)


An extratropical cyclone over the open South Atlantic was noted for possible subtropical development on March 12 while it moved to the southeast. Convection began to flare up near the center on March 13 as it lost its frontal systems and on March 14 the system became organized enough to be classified as Subtropical Depression Six-Q while heading towards the southeast. The depression slowly strengthened over the next day as it began to turn more to the south. Six-Q strengthened into a subtropical storm earning the name Eben as it continued on its southerly course. Twelve hours later it became fully tropical as the convection moved over the center of circulation, and in an environment favorable for continued strengthening Eben became a hurricane a day later on March 17. Eben continued to strengthen reaching category two strength while moving to the west. The hurricane began to recurve to the southwest and later the southeast, weakening as it moved over a more hostile environment consisting of cooler sea surface temperatures and increased wind shear. Eben began to undergo an extratropical transition on March 19 with the convection diminishing and what was left titling back with height. On March 20 the system became a hurricane-force extratropical cyclone that would weaken over time before dissipating completely on March 22.


Season Effects

This is a table of all of the storms that formed in the 2020-21 South Atlantic hurricane season. It includes their duration, names, landfall(s) damages, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect (an example of an indirect death would be a traffic accident), but were still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave, or a low, and all of the damage figures are in 2021 USD.

2020-21 South Atlantic hurricane season statistics
Storm
name
Dates active Storm category at peak intensity Max
wind
(mph (km/h))
Min.
press.
(mbar (inHg))
Landfall(s) Damage
(USD)
Deaths
Where When Wind

(mph (km/h))

One-Q December 10 -
December 11
Subtropical depression 30 (50) 1003 (29.68) None 0 0
Adon December 23 -
January 1
Tropical storm 45 (70) 1000 (29.53) Namibia December 31 40 (65) $90 million 4 (1)
Benita January 24 -
January 29
Category 3 hurricane 115 (185) 966 (28.53) Uruguay January 28 115 (185) $5.1 billion 85 (17)
Caolan February 18 -
February 21
Tropical storm 50 (80) 1002 (29.59) Angola February 20 50 (80) $100 million 6 (2)
Danette March 1 -
March 5
Category 1 hurricane 80 (130) 984 (29.06) Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) March 4 65 (105) $210 million 13 (5)
Eben March 14 -
March 20
Category 2 hurricane 100 (160) 977 (28.85) None 0 0
Season Aggregates
6 cyclones December 10 - March 20 115 (185) 966 (28.53) 4 landfalls $5.5 billion 108 (25)

Storm Names

This list was used for the first time in 2020-21 and names not retired will be used again in 2024-25. Names retired will be marked in red. In July 2021, the name Benita was retired by the World Meteorological Organization and replaced with Brenna due to its impact in Uruguay.

  • Adon
  • Benita
  • Caolan
  • Danette
  • Eben
  • Farrah (unused)
  • Gael (unused)
  • Helga (unused)
  • Ianto (unused)
  • Jancis (unused)
  • Kaiden (unused)
  • Latoya (unused)
  • Magnus (unused)
  • Naya (unused)
  • Olin (unused)
  • Pamela (unused)
  • Raj (unused)
  • Sabina (unused)
  • Tane (unused)
  • Verna (unused)
  • Wyatt (unused)

See Also