- The United States has had 11 named storms hitting this season, but no storms have hit Florida.
- Sally made landfall in Alabama, but created storm surges, torrential rains and strong winds in Panhandle.
- Eta could be Florida’s first official hurricane.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has set a record for the number of landing storms named by the US, and while none of them have technically occurred in Florida, the Eta forecast is likely to change. change that.
Last week, Hurricane Zeta became the 11th hurricane to be named the record to land on the U.S. mainland in 2020. This number is two more than the previous record for the most number of landings in the United States in a season set in 1916.
Amazingly, not one of those landings happened in Florida.
However, there is a star to that.
Hurricane Sally hit Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama in mid-September with rainfall up to 30 inches, gusts of up to 121 miles per hour and storm surge.
Technically, though, Sally’s landfall – where the center of a tropical storm or hurricane traverses land – occurred on the border near Gulf Shores, Alabama.
It also passed through South Florida as the Tropical Depression of the Nineteen. It did not become Sally until it moved off the coast just south of Naples, Florida.
Eta is forecast to reach the southern peninsula of Florida later this week. It is likely that Eta’s center could move directly into the Florida Peninsula and become the state’s first official site to be named the landing storm this season.
Even if Eta turned west toward the Gulf of Mexico before a landfall in Florida, it is still possible on the Florida Gulf Coast next week.
Additionally, Eta can bring heavy rain, wind and waves to parts of Florida, but never formally land in the state.
Florida has only two other brushes this season since storms that have subsequently landed the United States elsewhere.
Tropical storm warnings at the Lower and Middle keys were subsequently dismissed as Tropical Storm Laura tracked past or south western Cuba in late August.
And while Florida’s Atlantic coast was on storm alert for Isaias in early August, it only swept over the coast with some little wind and rain while its center remained safe off the coast.
Florida’s Upper Keys and Florida’s west coast, east of Apalachicola, are the only parts of the East or Gulf coast that have not yet received a tropical storm or hurricane warning so far this season.
Even areas of western Maine have been warned this season by tropical storms in front of the west coast of Florida.
Recent section: All or nothing
Florida has experienced intense stormy seasons in recent years, but has also experienced a number of long dry storms.
Hurricane Irma in 2017 split the Florida Peninsula from the Keys to the north. A year later was the devastation of Typhoon Michael in Panhandle.
In 2004, Florida was hit by four hurricanes – Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne – three hurricanes that passed through Polk County in central Florida.
Three other hurricanes – Dennis, Katrina and Wilma – hit Florida in 2005. Another hurricane, Rita, swept through the Florida Keys.
But after Hurricane Wilma, it was almost 11 years before the next hurricane – H Treaty – hit Florida, a record storm drought for the State of Sunshine.
The Weather Company’s primary press mandate is to cover breaking news, the environment, and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.