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 North Atlantic maintained its extremely active pace in November. Three named storms developed in November, which ties the record. Two of those became major hurricanes, which sets a new record. Only eight Novembers since 1851 had even one major hurricane, let alone the two that occurred in November 2020.

Hurricane Eta was the first of the two major hurricanes in November. It developed as a tropical depression on October 29 but was first named on November 1. Within 48 hours, Eta was a category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph just before landfall in Nicaragua. It weakened almost as quickly as it interacted with the mountainous terrain but not before producing catastrophic flooding across Central America. The storm reemerged over the Western Caribbean on November 6, but it struggled to reorganize. It crossed Cuba and the Florida Keys before briefly regaining hurricane strength in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. It eventually weakened again before landfall in Central Florida. Despite its weaker winds, Eta's moisture combined with a strong cold front to bring heavy rain from Florida to the Mid-Atlantic.

Hurricane Iota mirrored much of Eta's evolution in the Western Caribbean and Central America. Iota became a tropical storm less than 100 miles from where Eta had 12 days later. Iota underwent a similar period of rapid intensification, going from 45 mph to 160 mph in 48 hours. Iota was the strongest storm of the 2020 season and the latest category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic. Iota made landfall in Nicaragua within 15 miles of where Eta had gone ashore less than two weeks before. Iota dissipated over Central America, unlike Eta, but not before bringing more devastating flooding to the region.

November 30 marked the official end of the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It included 30 named storms, which tops the previous record of 28 set in 2005. The 13 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes in 2020 are both the second most on record behind 2005 (15 and 7, respectively). Twelve named storms made landfall in the continental U.S. during 2020. This exceeds the previous annual record of nine landfalls set in 1916. Of those 12 named landfalling storms, six were hurricanes, which ties 1886 and 1985 for the most U.S. hurricane landfalls in a single season.

The East Pacific produced two weak and short-lived tropical storms. Tropical storms typically form in the East Pacific once every 2 or 3 Novembers, but 2020 marked the third straight year and sixth in the last seven to have a November storm. Despite this November activity, the 2020 East Pacific hurricane season ranks near the bottom third for most measures of activity since 1981.

The West Pacific had three named storms plus the remnants of Super Typhoon Goni, which formed in October. Super Typhoon Vamco was the only West Pacific storm to strengthen beyond a tropical storm in November. The West Pacific also remains much quieter than normal, ranking in the bottom third of years since 1981 for most activity metrics.

The North Indian Ocean had two tropical storms, including Major Cyclone Gati. Gati was short-lived, but rapidly intensified from 40 mph to 115 mph in 12 hours according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Gati was the first hurricane-strength cyclone to make landfall in Somalia in JTWC's database dating back to 1972.

The South Indian Ocean had one Category 1 strength cyclone, Alicia. Alicia was the first Southern Hemisphere cyclone of the 2020-2021 season, which began July 1. Climatologically, about 3 storms typically form in the Southern Hemisphere during July-November.

North Atlantic

November 2020 North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Eta4November 1Nov 1-13150 mph923 mb
ThetaTSNovember 10Nov 10-1570 mph989 mb
Iota5November 13Nov 13-18160 mph917 mb
North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone November Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1851-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
30.7
(7 in 10 Novembers)
1st
(tied with 2 other Novembers)
3
(5 Novembers)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
20.5
(5 in 10 Novembers)
2nd
(tied with 1 other November)
3
(2001)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
20.1
(1 in 10 Novembers)
1st2
(2020)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
35.65.81st70.9
(1932)
Previous record 1 (8 Novembers)
North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-November 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1851-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
3011.91st30
(2020)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
136.42nd14
(2005)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
62.72nd
(tied with 3 other seasons)
7
(2005)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
178.2103.76th257.2
(1933)
Previous record 27 (2005)

East Pacific

November 2020 East Pacific Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
OdalysTSNovember 3Nov 3-550 mph1000 mb
PoloTSNovember 18Nov 18-1945 mph1004 mb
East Pacific Tropical Cyclone November Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1949-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
20.3
(3 in 10 Novembers)
1st
(tied with 2 other Novembers)
2
(5 Novembers)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 Novembers)
9th
(tied with 31 other Novembers)
1
(10 Novembers)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Novembers)
3rd
(tied with 37 other Novembers)
1
(2011, 2015)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
2.01.413th13.9
(2015)
East Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-November 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1949-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
1616.524th
(tied with 2 other seasons)
27
(1992)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
48.938th
(tied with 1 other season)
16
(1990, 1992, 2014, 2015)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
34.325th
(tied with 4 other seasons)
11
(2015)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
75.6130.433rd316.0
(2018)

West Pacific

November 2020 West Pacific Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Goni5October 28-November 5Oct 28-Nov 5195 mph884 mb
AtsaniTSNovember 2Nov 2-760 mph993 mb
EtauTSNovember 9Nov 945 mph998 mb
Vamco4November 10Nov 10-15130 mph945 mb
Value occurred in October
West Pacific Tropical Cyclone November Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1945-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
32.58th
(tied with 10 other Novembers)
6
(1947, 1991, 2019)
Typhoon
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
11.518th
(tied with 16 other Novembers)
5
(1968, 2019)
Major Typhoon
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
11.012th
(tied with 12 other Novembers)
4
(1947, 1952)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
22.135.424th130.2
(1954)
West Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-November 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1945-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
2324.927th
(tied with 3 other seasons)
37
(1964)
Typhoon
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
1216.031st
(tied with 3 other seasons)
25
(1964, 1971)
Major Typhoon
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
78.424th
(tied with 8 other seasons)
15
(1957, 1965, 2015)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
147.8288.337th501.7
(1997)

North Indian

November 2020 North Indian Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Gati3November 21Nov 21-23115 mph967 mb
Nivar1November 23Nov 23-2680 mph981 mb
North Indian Tropical Cyclone November Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1972-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
21.34th
(tied with 11 other Novembers)
3
(1992, 2011, 2013)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
20.6
(6 in 10 Novembers)
1st
(tied with 6 other Novembers)
2
(9 Novembers)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
10.2
(2 in 10 Novembers)
1st
(tied with 7 other Novembers)
2
(1977)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
5.96.213th31.2
(1977)
North Indian Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-November 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1972-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
44.420th
(tied with 9 other seasons)
9
(1992)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
41.42nd
(tied with 2 other seasons)
6
(2019)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
20.7
(7 in 10 seasons)
3rd
(tied with 5 other seasons)
3
(1999, 2019)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
24.416.813th82.7
(2019)

South Indian

November 2020 South Indian Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Alicia1November 14Nov 14-1775 mph983 mb
South Indian Tropical Cyclone November Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
10.7
(7 in 10 Novembers)
7th
(tied with 15 other Novembers)
2
(6 Novembers)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
10.4
(4 in 10 Novembers)
5th
(tied with 7 other Novembers)
2
(1981, 1988, 1996, 2004)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 Novembers)
9th
(tied with 31 other Novembers)
1
(9 Novembers)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.07.727th
(tied with 13 other Novembers)
38.2
(1997)
South Indian Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2019-November 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
11.620th
(tied with 13 other seasons)
3
(5 seasons)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
10.6
(6 in 10 seasons)
5th
(tied with 10 other seasons)
3
(1981, 1996)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 seasons)
10th
(tied with 30 other seasons)
1
(10 seasons)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.09.434th
(tied with 6 other seasons)
46.9
(1997)

Australia

No Australia Tropical Cyclones occurred during November 2020.

Australia Tropical Cyclone November Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.6
(6 in 10 Novembers)
16th
(tied with 24 other Novembers)
3
(1983)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 Novembers)
7th
(tied with 33 other Novembers)
1
(6 Novembers)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Novembers)
2nd
(tied with 38 other Novembers)
1
(2005)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.01.618th
(tied with 22 other Novembers)
12.0
(2006)
Australia Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2019-November 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.9
(9 in 10 seasons)
18th
(tied with 22 other seasons)
3
(1983, 1996, 2001, 2007)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 seasons)
7th
(tied with 33 other seasons)
1
(6 seasons)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
2nd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
1
(2005)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.01.920th
(tied with 20 other seasons)
12.0
(2006)

Southwest Pacific

No Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclones occurred during November 2020.

Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone November Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.3
(3 in 10 Novembers)
12th
(tied with 28 other Novembers)
2
(1956, 1997)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 Novembers)
7th
(tied with 33 other Novembers)
3
(1997)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Novembers)
3rd
(tied with 37 other Novembers)
1
(1990, 1997)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
3.02.27th16.8
(1998)
Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2019-November 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1956-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.5
(5 in 10 seasons)
13th
(tied with 27 other seasons)
5
(1997)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.3
(3 in 10 seasons)
7th
(tied with 33 other seasons)
3
(1997)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 seasons)
4th
(tied with 36 other seasons)
1
(1990, 1997, 2006)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
3.02.77th21.6
(1998)

Global

November 2020 Global Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Goni5October 28-November 5Oct 28-Nov 5195 mph**884 mb**
Eta4November 1Nov 1-13150 mph923 mb
AtsaniTSNovember 2Nov 2-760 mph993 mb
OdalysTSNovember 3Nov 3-550 mph1000 mb
EtauTSNovember 9Nov 945 mph998 mb
ThetaTSNovember 10Nov 10-1570 mph989 mb
Vamco4November 10Nov 10-15130 mph945 mb
Iota5November 13Nov 13-18160 mph917 mb
Alicia1November 14Nov 14-1775 mph983 mb
PoloTSNovember 18Nov 18-1945 mph1004 mb
Gati3November 21Nov 21-23115 mph967 mb
Nivar1November 23Nov 23-2680 mph981 mb
**Value occurred in October
Global Tropical Cyclone November Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1972-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
116.41st11††
(2020)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
63.63rd
(tied with 4 other Novembers)
8
(2019)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
41.61st
(tied with 2 other Novembers)
4
(1990, 1992, 2020)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
69.660.512th147.4
(1992)
††Previous record 10 (5 Novembers)
Global Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-November 2020
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2020
Rank*
1972-2020
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
9680.82nd98
(2018)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
4344.721st
(tied with 6 other seasons)
56
(1990, 1992, 2018)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
2022.226th
(tied with 4 other seasons)
38
(2015)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
535.1719.838th1,101.7
(1992)

Data Description

The data in this report are derived from NCEI's IBTrACS dataset (Knapp et al. 2010; Schreck et al. 2014). IBTrACS tropical cyclone track and intensity data from agencies and sources around the globe. In this report, data from NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) are used for the North Atlantic and East Pacific. The other basin's use data from the U.S. Military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

Historical values use the "best track" data that have been analyzed by forecasters after the season using all available data. Operational procedures and observing systems have changed with time and between regions, which makes these data heterogeneous. Intensity data are generally the most reliable since the early 1970s in the Atlantic (Landsea and Franklin 2013) and since the mid-1980s in other regions (Chu et al. 2002). The number of short-lived storms (≤2 days) has also increased since around 2000 due to improvements in observations and analysis techniques (Landsea et al. 2010).

Values for the current year are provisional values from the operational forecast advisories. IBTrACS obtains these from NCEP's TC Vitals, the NCAR Tropical Cyclone Guidance Project, and NHC provisional data. These values are subject to change during the post-season best track analysis. They also only include 6-hourly storm fixes, which means they may miss special advisories at landfall, peak intensity, etc.

The tropical cyclone seasons in the Southern Hemisphere begin in July and end in June, while the Northern Hemisphere seasons are counted from January to December. Storms are counted in all basins, months, and years in which they occur, which means some storms may appear more than once. However, the global totals only include each storm one time.

References

  • Chu, J.-H., C. R. Sampson, A. S. Levine, and E. Fukada, 2002: The joint typhoon warning center tropical cyclone best-tracks, 1945–2000. Naval Research Laboratory, Reference Number NRL/MR/7540-02-16, 22 pp., https://www.metoc.navy.mil/jtwc/products/best-tracks/tc-bt-report.html.
  • Knapp, K. R., M. C. Kruk, D. H. Levinson, H. J. Diamond, and C. J. Neumann, 2010: The International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, 363–376, https://doi.org/10.1175/2009BAMS2755.1.
  • Landsea, C. W., and J. L. Franklin, 2013: Atlantic Hurricane database uncertainty and presentation of a new database format. Mon. Wea. Rev., 141, 3576–3592, https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-12-00254.1.
  • ——, G. A. Vecchi, L. Bengtsson, and T. R. Knutson, 2010: Impact of duration thresholds on Atlantic tropical cyclone counts. J. Climate, 23, 2508–2519, https://doi.org/10.1175/2009JCLI3034.1.
  • Schreck, C. J., K. R. Knapp, and J. P. Kossin, 2014: The Impact of Best Track Discrepancies on Global Tropical Cyclone Climatologies using IBTrACS. Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 3881–3899, https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-14-00021.1.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Tropical Cyclones for November 2020, published online December 2020, retrieved on January 20, 2022 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tropical-cyclones/202011.

Metadata

https://data.nodc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/iso?id=gov.noaa.ncdc:C00775