Tropical Cyclones - October 2020

Note: This report catalogs recent tropical cyclones across the North Atlantic and East Pacific and places each basin’s tropical cyclone activity in a climate-scale context. It is not updated in real time. Users seeking the real time status and forecasts of tropical cyclones should visit The National Hurricane Center.

Note: This report catalogs recent tropical cyclones across the North Atlantic and East Pacific and places each basin’s tropical cyclone activity in a climate-scale context. It is not updated in real time. Users seeking the real time status and forecasts of tropical cyclones should visit The National Hurricane Center.

Significant Events

The Atlantic hurricane season remained very active in October. Four named storms developed, three of which became hurricanes, and two of those were major hurricanes. All of these totals were in the top five for Octobers since 1981. Hurricane Eta formed as a tropical depression on October 29, but it was not included in these counts because it became a named tropical storm on November 1.

The 2020 hurricane season has produced 27 named storms through October, not counting Eta. That number is three ahead of the previous record holder, 2005, through this point in the season. In fact, the 29th storm of the season, Tropical Storm Theta, formed on November 10. That breaks the 2005 record for the most storms in a season.

In terms of Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE), which measures the strength and duration of tropical storms and hurricanes, October 2020 was the 6th most active October on record. Despite the record number of storms in 2020, many of them have been weak or short-lived. As a result, the ACE for the 2020 season through October is only the 10th most active in the last 40 years.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has also been noteworthy for its impacts on the contiguous U.S. Two hurricanes, Delta and Zeta, made landfall during October. Each storm produced heavy rainfall over a swath from Louisiana to Virginia. These storms were the 10th and 11th named storms to make landfall in the contiguous U.S. in 2020, which breaks the previous record of 9 from 1916. Of those 11 named storms, six were hurricanes, which ties the record from 1886 and 1985. Perhaps most remarkable is that five of the named storms ( Cristobal, Marco, Laura, Delta, and Zeta) made landfall in Louisiana—the most any state has experienced in a single year. Western Louisiana has been particularly hard hit as Delta made landfall about 12 miles from where Laura did six weeks earlier.

In contrast to the Atlantic, the East Pacific has been quieter than normal. October produced only one tropical storm, Norbert. Another storm, Hurricane Marie, developed in September but became a hurricane during October. Marie was just the fourth hurricane of the 2020 season, which is tied for the second fewest since 1981.

North Atlantic

October 2020 North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
GammaTSOctober 3Oct 3-570 mph980 mb
Delta4October 5Oct 5-10140 mph953 mb
Epsilon3October 19Oct 19-26115 mph952 mb
Zeta2October 25Oct 25-29105 mph973 mb
North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone October Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1851-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
42.05th
(tied with 4 other Octobers)
8
(1950)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
31.14th
(tied with 2 other Octobers)
5
(1870, 1950, 2010)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
20.4
(4 in 10 Octobers)
1st
(tied with 2 other Octobers)
2
(9 Octobers)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
38.514.46th87.2
(1878)
North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-October 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1851-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
2711.21st27
(2020)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
115.83rd
(tied with 1 other season)
14
(2005)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
42.67th
(tied with 3 other seasons)
7
(2005)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
142.697.910th251.4
(1933)
Previous record 24 (2005)

East Pacific

October 2020 East Pacific Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Marie4September 29-October 6Sep 29-Oct 6130 mph948 mb
NorbertTSOctober 6Oct 6-1450 mph1001 mb
East Pacific Tropical Cyclone October Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1949-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
12.128th
(tied with 6 other Octobers)
5
(1992)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
11.217th
(tied with 10 other Octobers)
3
(6 Octobers)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
10.6
(6 in 10 Octobers)
6th
(tied with 17 other Octobers)
3
(1983, 2018)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
18.818.119th77.4
(2018)
East Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-October 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1949-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
1416.230th
(tied with 1 other season)
27
(1992)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
48.738th
(tied with 1 other season)
16
(1990, 1992)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
34.325th
(tied with 4 other seasons)
10
(1992, 2015, 2018)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
73.6129.033rd313.2
(2018)

West Pacific

October 2020 West Pacific Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Chan-Hom1October 5Oct 5-1190 mph962 mb
LinfaTSOctober 10Oct 10-1145 mph999 mb
NangkaTSOctober 12Oct 12-1460 mph989 mb
Saudel2October 20Oct 20-2595 mph968 mb
Molave3October 24Oct 24-28125 mph950 mb
Goni5October 28-November 5Oct 28-Nov 5195 mph884 mb
West Pacific Tropical Cyclone October Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1945-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
63.83rd
(tied with 5 other Octobers)
7
(1984, 1992)
Typhoon
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
42.86th
(tied with 5 other Octobers)
7
(2013)
Major Typhoon
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
21.711th
(tied with 16 other Octobers)
5
(1962, 2013)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
49.756.624th126.8
(1992)
West Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-October 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1945-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
2022.428th
(tied with 3 other seasons)
33
(1971)
Typhoon
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
1114.529th
(tied with 3 other seasons)
24
(1971)
Major Typhoon
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
67.426th
(tied with 4 other seasons)
14
(1965, 2015)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
125.7252.838th452.1
(1997)

North Indian

No North Indian Tropical Cyclones occurred during October 2020.

North Indian Tropical Cyclone October Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1972-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
01.031st
(tied with 9 other Octobers)
2
(13 Octobers)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Octobers)
9th
(tied with 31 other Octobers)
2
(1999, 2014, 2018)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Octobers)
8th
(tied with 32 other Octobers)
2
(1999, 2014)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.02.331st
(tied with 9 other Octobers)
27.3
(2019)
North Indian Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-October 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1972-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
23.123rd
(tied with 13 other seasons)
6
(1992, 1996, 2006)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
20.8
(8 in 10 seasons)
5th
(tied with 5 other seasons)
4
(2019)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
10.5
(5 in 10 seasons)
6th
(tied with 12 other seasons)
3
(1999)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
18.510.69th63.3
(2019)

South Indian

No South Indian Tropical Cyclones occurred during October 2020.

South Indian Tropical Cyclone October Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.4
(4 in 10 Octobers)
15th
(tied with 25 other Octobers)
1
(15 Octobers)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Octobers)
5th
(tied with 35 other Octobers)
1
(1981, 1983, 1996, 2012)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Octobers)
2nd
(tied with 38 other Octobers)
1
(2012)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.01.117th
(tied with 23 other Octobers)
12.4
(2013)
South Indian Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2019-October 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.8
(8 in 10 seasons)
24th
(tied with 16 other seasons)
3
(1996)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 seasons)
6th
(tied with 34 other seasons)
1
(5 seasons)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
2nd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
1
(2012)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.01.724th
(tied with 16 other seasons)
12.4
(2013)

Australia

No Australia Tropical Cyclones occurred during October 2020.

Australia Tropical Cyclone October Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Octobers)
5th
(tied with 35 other Octobers)
1
(1996, 1998, 2001, 2010)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Octobers)
1st
(tied with 39 other Octobers)
0
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Octobers)
1st
(tied with 39 other Octobers)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.2
(2 in 10 Octobers)
6th
(tied with 34 other Octobers)
2.0
(1984)
Australia Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2019-October 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.3
(3 in 10 seasons)
8th
(tied with 32 other seasons)
2
(1996)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
1st
(tied with 39 other seasons)
0
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
1st
(tied with 39 other seasons)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.3
(3 in 10 seasons)
10th
(tied with 30 other seasons)
2.0
(1984)

Southwest Pacific

No Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclones occurred during October 2020.

Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone October Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 Octobers)
5th
(tied with 35 other Octobers)
3
(1997)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Octobers)
2nd
(tied with 38 other Octobers)
1
(2006)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Octobers)
2nd
(tied with 38 other Octobers)
1
(2006)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.5
(5 in 10 Octobers)
5th
(tied with 35 other Octobers)
9.6
(2007)
Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2019-October 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 seasons)
6th
(tied with 34 other seasons)
3
(1997)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
2nd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
1
(2006)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
2nd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
1
(2006)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.5
(5 in 10 seasons)
6th
(tied with 34 other seasons)
9.6
(2007)

Global

October 2020 Global Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Marie4September 29-October 6Sep 29-Oct 6130 mph948 mb
GammaTSOctober 3Oct 3-570 mph980 mb
Delta4October 5Oct 5-10140 mph953 mb
Chan-Hom1October 5Oct 5-1190 mph962 mb
NorbertTSOctober 6Oct 6-1450 mph1001 mb
LinfaTSOctober 10Oct 10-1145 mph999 mb
NangkaTSOctober 12Oct 12-1460 mph989 mb
Epsilon3October 19Oct 19-26115 mph952 mb
Saudel2October 20Oct 20-2595 mph968 mb
Molave3October 24Oct 24-28125 mph950 mb
Zeta2October 25Oct 25-29105 mph973 mb
Goni5October 28-November 5Oct 28-Nov 5195 mph884 mb
Global Tropical Cyclone October Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1972-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
119.610th
(tied with 5 other Octobers)
16
(1992, 2012)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
85.43rd
(tied with 7 other Octobers)
9
(1992, 2013)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
52.96th
(tied with 2 other Octobers)
7
(2013, 2015, 2018)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
107.093.418th205.5
(2018)
Global Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-October 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1972-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
8574.45th
(tied with 1 other season)
92
(2018)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
3741.127th
(tied with 4 other seasons)
52
(1990, 1992, 2018)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
1620.533rd
(tied with 5 other seasons)
35
(2015)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
465.5659.339th1,006.6
(2018)
*Tropical cyclone data before 1981 have a low bias due to limited access to satellite data and techniques over the open ocean.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Tropical Cyclones for October 2020, published online November 2020, retrieved on March 5, 2021 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tropical-cyclones/202010.

Metadata