As Hurricane Sally bears down on the Gulf Coast, 2020 season continues at a record pace

Five tropical cyclones are simultaneously moving through the Atlantic Basin for the first time in almost 50 years
The Atlantic Basin currently has 5 simultaneous named cyclones
The Atlantic Basin currently has 5 simultaneous named cyclones(KBTX)
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 1:50 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As of midday Monday, Hurricane Hunters found Sally had rapidly intensified to a strong Category 1 Hurricane in the North-Central Gulf of Mexico. While this system is expected to move inland along the Gulf Coast Wednesday, tropical storm and hurricane-force impacts are expected as early as Monday evening and linger through late in the week. Flash flooding from rain upwards of 10″ to 20″, life-threatening storm surge as high as 7 to 11 feet, and catastrophic wind is expected between the east coast of Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle for multiple days.

Sally strengthening to hurricane status put the 2020 season on a whole new level when compared to historic seasons of the past. Other than now being the earliest 18th Atlantic named storm on record -- replacing Stan from October 2005 -- here are the new milestones Sally reached, as of Monday afternoon: (historical data courtesy Philip Klotzbach, Colorado State University)

  • Sally is the 7th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season-to-date. Only 6 years have had 7+ hurricanes by September 14th: 1886, 1893, 1933, 1995, 2005, 2012.
  • Sally is the 4th hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico in 2020 -- others were Hanna, Marco, and Laura. Only 5 years on record have had 4+ Gulf of Mexico hurricanes by September 14th: 1886, 18933, 1936, 2005, 2017.
  • Sally is forecast to make landfall as a hurricane on the Gulf Coast. Once that occurs, Sally will be the 4th landfalling hurricane in the continental US this year (Hanna, Isaias, and Laura). Most recent year with 4+ lower 48 landfalling hurricanes is 2005 (5 landfills).

Including Sally, there are currently 5 named tropical systems simultaneously moving through the Atlantic Basin. Here are some other records that are currently being set or tied this season:

  • Tropical Storm Teddy formed Monday morning. It is now the earliest 19th Atlantic named storm on record. Prior records was an unnamed storm that formed October 4th, 2005. (Unnamed storm was added in post-season reanalysis of the season)
  • Tropical Storm Vicky formed mid-morning Monday. It is now the earliest 20th Atlantic named storm on record. This replaces the old record set by Tammy on October 5th, 2005.
  • There have been 7 named storm formations in September, to-date. This sets a new record for most named storm formations from September 1st - 14th and replaces a tie for 5 storms from 1869, 1949, 1961, 1998, 2010, and 2018.
  • For the second time on record, the Atlantic has 5+ tropical cyclones (tropical depression or stronger) simultaneously: Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, and Vicky. This ties September 11th - 14th, 1971.
  • As of Monday, the Atlantic has 4 named storms (tropical storm or stronger) simultaneously: Paulette, Sally, Teddy, Vicky. The most recent time this has happened was September 12th - 14th, 2018.

One last piece of trivia as we look ahead to the rest of this historic Atlantic Hurricane Season:

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