Every year in May the Southeastern United States, Central Americas, and Caribbean islands watch in trepidation for the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. Lasting from June through November, the storms that follow can have a devastating impact on the regions. This charts shows the 5 years with the most named storms during hurricane season.
Every year there are many storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean. In general, these storms are only named once they reach sustained wind speeds of ~40 mph (61 km/hr). The Naming of these storms arose from the need to be able to effectively communicate weather forecasts. This especially is the case when there are multiple storms in the same region or “basin”.
On average, there are a little over 10 named storms each year. This goes to show just how significantly higher these years in the chart below were above the average.
Years with the Most Named Storms
2020 is currently the record holder for most named storms. As of writing Hurricane Iota is the 30th named storm of the season that’s due to make landfall on November 17th. Two two weeks left in hurricane season, this year could easily see more storms added to the total.
Though 2020 has seen the most storms, there have not been as many catastrophic hurricanes that hit land (not to minimize the impact of the storms that did hit land). Comparatively, in 2005 there were 3 hurricanes that wreaked havoc on land at category 5 wind speeds (above 158 mph or 254 km/hr) including the now infamous Hurricane Katrina that caused a record amount of damage in the US. Hurricanes Rita and Wilma were the other two category 5 stones that year.
The biggest storms to strike land in 1933 were both category 5 hurricanes named “Cuba-Brownsville” and “Tampico”.
The 5 years tied at 19 storms each are 1887, 1995, 2010, 2011 and 2012. There were no category 5 storms in any of those years.
Hurricane Camille struck land in 1969 as a category 5 hurricane and as it goes with such storms, caused considerable damage and destruction in its path.
Experts believe that warmer surface ocean waters due to climate change is partly to blame for the record number of storms this year. In addition, as storm tracking technology has gotten better, we are able to see and track storms that form far out in the ocean and never end up hitting land.
Source: Weather Underground