A look at what made the 2020 Hurricane Season so active

As world warms, expect storms to intensify

This satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Iota over Nicaragua and Honduras on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, at 12:20 ET. Hurricane Iota tore across Nicaragua on Tuesday, hours after roaring ashore as a Category 4 storm along almost exactly the same stretch of the Caribbean coast that was recently devastated by an equally powerful hurricane. (NOAA via AP) (Uncredited, NOAA)

This week in Forecasting Change I want to say goodbye to the 2020 Hurricane Season.

We all breathed a huge sigh of relief as the season officially came to an end on Nov. 30. I won’t do a total recap, others have been concentrating on that, but I do want to take a look at what we refer to as global weirdness and its impacts on this very strange hurricane season.

As we have talked about before, the globe has already warmed about 2 degrees in the last 100 years.

In hurricane or tropical storm impacts, let’s start with warmer air creating heavier rain. Check out the graphic below:

The rapid intensification of tropical storms is what can make them deadly hurricanes. (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

No doubt you have heard me preach the gospel that when it comes to hurricane deaths “it’s the wind, not the water!” I have practically turned it into a mantra. But something to consider is the increase in the intensity of the hurricanes. More specifically, the increase in rapid intensification of tropical storms.

As the world warms, major tropical storms are expected to strengthen quicker than years past. (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

And the end result?

Well with more storms happening, storms getting stronger and storms producing more rain, the state of Florida is the leader of the pack for areas “at most risk” from coastal floods and sea-level rise.

Top cities most at risk in Florida for coastal floods and sea level rise. (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

In the coming weeks and months, I will focus more on what can, is, and will be done to help stop things from getting worse and how we can work to keep Florida a great place to live and work.

About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.