Joe D’Aleo CCM,

The 2020 hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin is the most active in history with 30 named storms, breaking the previous record set in 2005 (which had 28). 6 storms were major storms including Iota, setting a record for the latest Major hurricane.

The Gulf and Central America were hard hit, reminiscent of the 1988 to 1900 period (see).

Despite the busy Atlantic, the Pacific was quiet and the hemisphere as a whole had a quieter than normal (80% of normal) season.

The ACE of 179.8 ranks 13th behind 2017 and 2005 and the top year 1933.

An active season was expected -­‐ several factors pointed to it. LA NINA AND LOW SHEAR IN THE ATLANTIC

We have a La Nina in place.

Gerry Bell showed how La Ninas produce fewer east Pacific storms and less shear to the east which favors more Atlantic storms.

Weak easterly shear is seen in the Main Development region and Caribbean consistent with persistent La Nina Pacific suppression.

2017 was a no shear year with a much higher ACE (ranked 7th with

224.9 versus 179.8 so far in 2020). Strong westerly shear was seen from 2014 to 2016.

The pressure anomalies reflect the low pressure and storm tracks beneath the 40N ridge.


The Atlantic is warm.

The warm Atlantic not surprisingly generates more storms.

In the figure above, the red columns represent the seasonal AMO and black lines the number of Atlantic names storms


Hodges and Elsner (FSU) found low solar led to colder high atmosphere favoring more instability and perhaps stronger storms.

Indeed check out the 100mb temperature anomalies since July in the Atlantic Basin including the Caribbean.

So we had the ‘perfect storm’ in the Atlantic Basin with a La Nina leading to low vertical shear, the warm mode of the AMO providing more heat energy and low solar leading to a colder high atmosphere and greater instability. Even with the large number of storms and 6 majors, the ACE index still trails years like 2017 and 2005 and 10 others.


Not every meteorologist believes 2020 holds the record for most named storms. Due to advances in technology, forecasters are able to identify smaller subtropical storms that may have gone unnoticed in the past.

“When one wants to do a fair comparison of storms now versus storms in the past, you really have to be careful about how to interpret the raw number,” Christopher Landsea, chief of the tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center, said, according to the New York Times. “There has been a lot of hype about the record number of storms and, yes, it’s been a busy year. There have been horrific impacts. But is this really a record? The answer is no.”

The ACE supports that. And the decadal trend for landfalling hurricanes and major hurricanes has been down.

Weatherbell’s hurricane lead Guru Joe Bastardi commented on the season.

Summing Up the N Hemisphere Tropical Season

  1. Yes most named storms in the Atlantic. Weatherbell underdone on total names
  2. Yes highest impact year on the US coast (no surprise as we made a huge deal about that from April)
  3. ACE at 180 within our ACE range from March! 13th highest on recordBTW another abysmal year by the Euro models. We put out that ACE in March. At that time the Euro was forecasting 80% of average
  4. Here is where it gets interesting: ACE/Storm was 6 ranking DEAD LAST way back in Last as far as ACE/Storm. How bad was it? The AVERAGE ACE/STORM in the other 21 seasons was 12! The closest to this year was another mega named year 2005 but that was a respectable 9

The obvious conclusion is 2 fold,

  1. Some of these should not have been named or would not have been in previous years. Now if you don’t want to accept that fine, but it means more storms, but weaker. It is absolutely astounding to see the ace/storm HALF the average of the all the other samples.But it gets worse as far as the hype:
  2. The total ignoring of the lack of activity in the Pacific Basin and globally.

I keep hearing global this and global that which of course applies only if one is going to ignore the fact that the number one area for ACE (Pacific) was so far below normal -­‐ Western Pacific was 52%, the eastern Pacific 56%.

The total ACE between the two is normally 426. This year, so far, ACE there was 226. So the basin with 4 times the normal of Atlantic, is only 50% of its normal! For the northern hemisphere was 80% of normal. So even with the hyper Atlantic season.

GLOBALLY we were BELOW average.

So there is no question the impact of the western hemisphere is a huge record breaking deal, and should be talked about, But if you want perspective and the whole picture, there is plenty to counter the idea that this is an example of some kind of atmospheric apocalypse, But you have to look and if you do, you will see that there is plenty to talk about on the other side of the coin.

Of course the coin that is flipped when it comes to pushing ideas today always seem to come up one way.

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Steve Case
December 8, 2020 6:36 pm

ACE means exactly what?

Reply to  Steve Case
December 8, 2020 6:55 pm

See this link …

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Steve Case
December 8, 2020 6:58 pm
Baby El
Reply to  Steve Case
December 8, 2020 7:01 pm

I had to google too….

Accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) is a metric used by various agencies to express the energy used by a tropical cyclone during its lifetime

William Babic
Reply to  Steve Case
December 8, 2020 7:45 pm

accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index

Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
December 9, 2020 12:05 am

John Shewchuk, Walter Sobchak, Baby El, and William Babic Thanks. Having to look up /Google undefined acronyms is really annoying.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steve Case
December 9, 2020 9:16 am

You’re right Steve. It should have been defined (or at least spelled out) when first used in the article, and the acronym shown next to it, for reference in the rest of the article.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Steve Case
December 9, 2020 1:32 am

You need to follow the great Joe Bastardi.

December 8, 2020 6:40 pm

Joe Bastardi has got it right again. This past year they named everything. Wonder how many would be named under the old way of naming storms. Used to watch him on PBS Penn State weather. Always a great guy.

Joh Shewchuk
Reply to  RT
December 8, 2020 6:54 pm

Ditto. Joe did get it right. This also holds true for 2019, where Hurricane Barry is highly questionable. I’m afraid politics is driving storm naming to pad the stats.

D. Boss
Reply to  Joh Shewchuk
December 9, 2020 3:45 am

Not only are they (NOAA and/or NHC) naming storms that previously would not be considered, but they are lying about the intensity of storms profusely. And they haven’t been particularly diligent at covering up these lies about wind speeds either – you can check for yourself as things occur.

They have been bumping up wind speeds and hence storm categories. You can watch the live feeds from the Hurricane hunter aircraft as they deploy drop sondes and what they have been doing is taking flight level wind speed and saying that is the ground level wind speed. The wind speed at 10,000 feet is considerably higher than at ground level.

I have observed this lie for the last 3-4 years and cross checked with ocean buoy values, also seen in real time when an eyewall passes over. Example is Irma – was “officially” said to have 130 MPH sustained wind speed, and as the eyewall passed over a buoy west of the florida keys, it registered only 90 MPH. (along with the real time data feeds from the hunter aircraft and further cross checked with radar data of the eyewall rotation speed – so 3 independent sources confirm that the powers that purport to be official, are lying about storm intensities)

They are more aggressive with the lies out in the ocean, but as one approaches land based measuring stations they dial back the exaggeration in wind speed (or else their lying game would be too obvious to the somnambulant public). But lying is now the norm regards storm intensities!

My best guess as to why is they know that ACE reveals storms are not getting worse according to the climate change religion doctrine, so bumping up wind speeds on every storm will artificially increase the ACE. Not unlike how temperature records have been adjusted to match the climate change hoax theory.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  D. Boss
December 9, 2020 5:58 am

The maximum sustained winds in the advisories are always an estimate by the hurricane specialist based on whatever observations are available at the time. The estimates are made with the understanding that the maximum is never directly measured. Although a buoy may be under the eyewall it probably isn’t exactly where the maximum within the eyewall is.
The aircraft are now all equipped with a SFMR device which measures surface wind speed. This is preferred over reducing flight level winds, as was done in the past. Make sure which wind speed is being referred to in the advisories. No specialist would use raw flight level winds as the estimated maximum sustained surface winds.

Barnes Moore
Reply to  D. Boss
December 9, 2020 6:29 am

Reply to  D. Boss
December 9, 2020 7:34 am

D Boss – this is exactly what I have been doing, and I have been posting about here several times.
Mainly I have focused on whether a storm is a hurricane or not as it makes landfall, and what category it is at landfall.

As the storm approaches the coast, I look up the real-time weather buoys in the vicinity, and then watch their data reel out. I look for the peak wind speeds of the 2 or 3 buoys in the obvious areas.

The wind speed at 20 meters off the ground is what we worry about. That is what tears up buildings. You can always find a very fast breeze way high up in the atmosphere. Big Dill. It is the wind speed at two-story-house level that matters.

Reply to  RT
December 9, 2020 6:07 am

not only named everything…..but if they found winds…borderline…. in only one quadrant on one drop….they named it

Reply to  RT
December 9, 2020 11:42 am

If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound (wave)? YES

If a storm blows in the Atlantic, and no one knows about it, it is included in the “historic baseline”? NO

Let’s extend that baseline back to 1200 to show that Columbus was the impetus for all the storms.

December 8, 2020 6:52 pm

“most active in history”

History in this case can’t be more than 50 or so years, i.e., the satellite era.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  icisil
December 9, 2020 9:19 am

Yes. An extremely myopic view.

Walter Sobchak
December 8, 2020 7:00 pm

Joe: thanks for the perspective. The warmunists love to jump up and down and scream hysterically about the Atlantic Hurricane season. But if the climate is changing because of greenhouse gases, the impact has to show up all over the world. And clearly It doesn’t.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 8, 2020 8:25 pm

… if the climate is changing because of greenhouse gases, the impact has to show up all over the world. And clearly It doesn’t.

I don’t see why that has to be true given how heat circulates in the atmosphere and the oceans. Judith Curry’s stadium wave theory predicts uneven warming or cooling no matter what the cause (short of the apocalypse of course).

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  commieBob
December 8, 2020 8:40 pm

Congratulations, you have made your theory non falsifiable. That makes it not science. Thanks for playing.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 9, 2020 5:07 am

You said:

But if the climate is changing because of greenhouse gases, the impact has to show up all over the world.

So, that’s your theory. I pointed to evidence that warming or cooling don’t have to be evenly distributed. As far as I can tell that means your theory is wrong. The onus is on you to prove that your theory is correct.

Reply to  commieBob
December 9, 2020 9:17 am

You did not point to evidence, you pointed to another theory.

You prove yours first!

Reply to  commieBob
December 9, 2020 7:29 pm

You prove yours first!

Walter made an extraordinary claim and it’s up to him to provide extraordinary evidence.

The paleo record, the historical record, and the instrumental record all demonstrate that the Earth’s temperature does not change uniformly. The stadium wave is just an attempt to explain why that is. It’s up to Walter to explain why warming due to greenhouse gasses would behave differently.

Larry Hamlin
December 8, 2020 7:01 pm

There were 31 Tropical Depressions in 2020 which tied the number which occurred in 2005.
There were 15 Hurricanes in 2005 versus only 13 in 2020.
There were 7 Major Hurricanes in 2005 versus only 6 in 2020.
The only storm category that 2020 exceeded 2005 was named Tropical Storms with 30 in 2020 versus 28 in 2005.
The ACE in year 2020 is not even in the top ten in history.
How does this outcome make the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season the “most active” in history.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Larry Hamlin
December 8, 2020 7:49 pm

via media propaganda.

“A lie travels half-way around the world while the truth is still getting its boots on.”
– various attributions.

Thomas Gasloli
December 8, 2020 7:29 pm

“When one wants to do a fair comparison of storms now versus storms in the past, you really have to be careful about how to interpret the raw number,”
“Some of these should not have been named or would not have been in previous years”

These two quotes encapsulate the problem. If you change your technology so you can detect more small storms, and you change your technology so that the measure wind speed of the storms goes up, you need to correct your classification system for the change, otherwise you mislead people intentionally or not.

The same thing happened with tornado detection. Radar now can detect more minor events so the total tornados increased by detecting ones that would have been missed in the past.

In both cases simple comparisons of the number misleads. Funny how the misleading always works in the direction of encouraging climate hysteria.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
December 8, 2020 8:33 pm

Not funny. Intentional misleading is called “lying.”
The climate scam is nothing but layers upon layers of lies. You peel one lie back, and only another lie is revealed. Lies all the way down.

Clyde Spencer
December 8, 2020 8:48 pm

Joe Bastardi
“… reminiscent of the 1988 to 1900 period (see)”??? Is this what you intended to write?

December 8, 2020 9:30 pm

I have noted TCHP has been left out of the discussion the last few years. Classifing Sea Gull farts has been all the rage.

December 8, 2020 9:44 pm

The warm Atlantic not surprisingly generates more storms.

Cyclones are the major relief valve for energy accumulation in the oceans. A tropical cyclone cools the ocean surface over a wide path that can travel across the Atlantic from Africa to America. Upon arriving at America it can dump massive amounts of water onto land. The water represents a huge transfer of energy from the ocean to the land via evaporation.
This shows the surface cooling in the wake of Hurricane Florence across the Atlantic and all the storm activity in the Arabian Sea also in September:!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg2fysG93NziCOK9k

The brightest spot on Earth on 30 July 2020 reflecting an average of 350W/sq.m. The ocean surface actually cooling under the midday sun:!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg20rmI6ZbdeTV0c9
Hurricane Isaias obvious by its reflective power.

The open ocean surface cannot exceed 32C – a physical impossibility on planet Earth. All climate model fail this basic test. They invariably show the physically impossible with open ocean surface exceeding 32C. They are rubbish.

Andy Espersen
December 8, 2020 9:45 pm

How interesting that Atlantic storms vary from the other oceans. I wonder why.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Andy Espersen
December 9, 2020 5:47 am

I think that as the various oceanic oscillations go through their phases the weather patterns favorable for cyclonic formation move around the tropics. In general, when conditions are favorable in east Pacific they’re unfavorable in the Atlantic and visa versa.

December 9, 2020 5:46 am

Named storms is a subjective metric since they are now naming storms that they did not name before. Storms out in the middle of nowhere with no potential for landfall, what Joe Bastardi calls “Ham sandwiches”, typically were not named before but over the last few years they have been naming more and more of them. They’ve had the technology to get the data to name them in years prior during the satellite age but only started doing so in the last few years.

As for the ACE, I agree that since “Climate Change” is supposed to be global, then concentrating on storms in any single basin is meaningless and does not support their “Climate Change claims. One thing we can be thankful for concerning this season is that the western Pacific basin where during a typical year the most powerful storms form, was a basin with much lower than normal activity this year. And if the proponents hyping the Atlantic season were honest they would be reporting that good news. But of course all of us thinking humans posting here know they aren’t honest.

This will be my last post here or anywhere for awhile. I go in for surgery today and will be out of action for a time.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  rah
December 9, 2020 9:07 am

good luck

Tom Abbott
December 9, 2020 7:42 am

From the article: “The ACE of 179.8 ranks 13th behind 2017 and 2005 and the top year 1933.”

There’s my favorite decade agsin. The 1930’s show up in all sorts of climate statistics, don’t they. That would be because it was one of the warmest periods in recent history. Warmer than today.

Alarmists don’t like the warm 1930’s. It blows up their claims about Human-caused Climate Change. So, it was warmer in the 1930’s than it is today, and the ACE was higher in the 1930’s, than it is today.

More confirmation that we are not experiencing unprecedented weather today. No unprecedented weather today means CO2 is a minor player in the Earth’s climate.

December 9, 2020 8:17 am

Why is “number of named storms” even mentioned when the climate-kook-influenced people name everything and its mother anymore? It’s just a fake-statistic.

Advice to Joe D’Aleo/Weatherbell: Remove it from your analysis.

Steve Z
December 9, 2020 3:58 pm

As mentioned in the article, 2020 was a strong La Nina year, which tends to reduce tropical cyclones in the Pacific (and bring dry weather to the western US), but tends to increase hurricanes in the Atlantic. Of course, the “lame stream media” likes to capitalize on the wildfires in the West and hurricanes in the East to generate a crisis, in addition to this year’s COVID “crisis”. Monsoons over the western Pacific, as well as southern Asia, tend to be stronger in La Nina years. Interestingly enough, “global average” temperatures tend to be lower during La Nina then during El Nino or neutral times, so we can’t really blame the above-average hurricanes on “global warming” if temperatures are cooler!

During El Nino years, there are more storms in the western US, but fewer Atlantic hurricanes, so there are less complaints about droughts (and wildfires) in the West and hurricanes in the East from the media. Meanwhile, during El Nino years, China, Japan, and the Philippines get pummeled with repeated typhoons, but the US media doesn’t cover them, because they are so far from here. Also, global average temperatures tend to be higher during El Nino, so there is more “global warming” (even if it is temporary) while the US weather pattern tends to be more favorable.

The El Nino Southern Oscillation (in both its El Nino peak and La Nina trough) has a tremendous influence on the weather of over half the world, much more than any slight increase in the CO2 concentration in the air. We can’t really do much about ENSO, except prepare for its effects. This includes not only using calm years to prepare for hurricanes in a La Nina year, but also build dams in the western US to store water from El Nino years to provide water during the La Nina droughts.

December 10, 2020 11:04 pm

There are only 26 letters in the Roman alphabet. We’re going to have to switch to Cyrillic names.

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