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The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season was the first season to produce well above average activity since 2017. The season produced a total of 17 depressions, with all 17 becoming named storms. 10 of those reached hurricane status, while 4, Arthur, Hanna, Kyle, and Rene became major hurricanes, the first season with more than 2 major hurricanes since 2017.

Despite the season's higher activity, the season did not feature any activity in the month of June, the first time since 2014. The first system, Arthur, did not develop until July 14, being the latest first named system since 2009 and the latest first system overall since 2004.

The strongest storm and by far the most significant storm of the season was Hurricane Rene, which became the first Category 5 Hurricane to form in the month of November since 1924, along with the first Category 5 Hurricane to exist in the Bay of Campeche. Rene reached a minimum pressure of 899 millibars, tying Hurricane Allen of 1980 for the fifth strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic Basin. Rene made landfall in Central Mexico on November 12 at peak intensity.

The season also featured many unusual storms, other than Rene. Tropical Storm Bertha originally turned Ex-Tropical on August 5, but then regained Subtropical Storm status nearly a month later in the English Channel, before making landfall in France, and going on to affect Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Germany. Tropical Storm Josephine also affected Europe, making 2020 the first season with 2 storms affecting Europe. Josephine affected Portugal and Spain after dissipating and making a cyclonic loop in the Eastern Atlantic while regenerating. Hurricane Laura became the first storm since Hurricane Martha in 1969 to make landfall in Panama after making landfall there on September 14.

Season Timeline

Season Overview

July

August

September

October

November

Storms

Hurricane Arthur

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Arthur2020.jpg
Duration July 14 – July 24
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  962 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Bertha

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Bertha2020.jpg
Duration July 29 – August 25 (Ex-Tropical from August 5-25, and then Ex-Tropical once again from August 25-26)
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  969 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Cristobal

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Christobal2020.jpg
Duration July 29 – August 5
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  971 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Dolly

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Dolly2020.jpg
Duration August 3 – August 15 (Ex-Tropical on August 10)
Peak intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  980 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Edouard

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Edouard2018v2.jpg
Duration August 4 – August 5
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1001 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Fay

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Fay2020.jpg
Duration August 4 – August 9
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  992 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Gonzalo

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Gonzalo2020.jpg
Duration August 9 – August 17 (Ex-Tropical on August 12)
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  985 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Hanna

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hanna2020.jpg
Duration August 15 – August 24
Peak intensity 130 mph (215 km/h) (1-min)  949 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Isaias

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Isaias2020.jpg
Duration August 22 – August 30 (Ex-Tropical on August 28)
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  980 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Josephine

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Josephine2020.jpg
Duration September 2 – September 13 (Ex-Tropical on September 10)
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  991 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Kyle

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Kyle2020.jpg
Duration September 9 – September 17 (Ex-Tropical on September 16)
Peak intensity 150 mph (240 km/h) (1-min)  938 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Laura

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Laura2020.jpg
Duration September 13 – September 26 (Ex-Tropical on September 20)
Peak intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  981 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Marco

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Marco2020.jpg
Duration September 20 – September 25 (Ex-Tropical on September 23)
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  999 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Nana

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Nana2020.jpg
Duration September 29 – October 4 (Ex-Tropical on October 2)
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Omar

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Omar2020.jpg
Duration October 10 – October 13
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  983 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Storm Paulette

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Paulette2020.jpg
Duration October 21 – October 23
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1004 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Rene

Category 5 hurricane (SSHWS)
Rene2020.jpg
Duration November 7 – November 13
Peak intensity 180 mph (285 km/h) (1-min)  899 mbar (hPa)

Naming

These are the names that were used for the North Atlantic in 2020. The names Isaias, Paulette and Rene were used for the first time. This is the same naming list as 2014, as no names were retired that year. The names Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred were not used during the course of the season.

  • Arthur
  • Bertha
  • Cristobal
  • Dolly
  • Edouard
  • Fay
  • Gonzalo
  • Hanna
  • Isaias
  • Josephine
  • Kyle
  • Laura
  • Marco
  • Nana
  • Omar
  • Paulette
  • Rene
  • Sally (unused)
  • Teddy (unused)
  • Vicky (unused)
  • Wilfred (unused)

Retirement

In the Spring of 2021, the WMO decided to retire three names, Arthur, Hanna, and Rene from their naming list, and they will never be used to name an Atlantic storm again. They were replaced by Anthony, Heidi, and Ryan for 2026 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Naming List for 2026

  • Anthony
  • Bertha
  • Cristobal
  • Dolly
  • Edouard
  • Fay
  • Gonzalo
  • Heidi
  • Isaias
  • Josephine
  • Kyle
  • Laura
  • Marco
  • Nana
  • Omar
  • Paulette
  • Ryan
  • Sally
  • Teddy
  • Vicky
  • Wilfred

Season Summary

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