The Reason This Might Be the Worst Hurricane Season in Over 200 Years

As if we needed more on our plate, it looks like 2020 will be a historically bad hurricane season.

As if we needed more on our collective plates right now, there is evidence that 2020 may bring the worst hurricane season in recent history. Tropical Storm Fay is moving up the Atlantic coast as we speak, though the season for hurricanes and tropical storms typically does not begin to peak until mid-August. The National Hurricane Center in Miami is responsible for naming tropical or subtropical cyclones within the North Atlantic Ocean. There are lists of names that rotate every six years, and each season, they begin with the letter A and move on to B, C, etc. from there (skipping Q and U, and ending at W). But there is something particularly threatening about this current tropical storm's name: Weather experts have noted that this is the earliest the storm namers have gotten to the letter "F" (i.e., the sixth storm) in the current forecast era.

"With today's formation of Tropical Storm Fay, we have seen the earliest development of the sixth named tropical system in the Atlantic Basin in recorded history. Those records go back to the 1800s," NY1 reports.

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Dennis Feltgen, public affairs officer for the National Hurricane Center, told The New York Times, "It was forecast to be an active season and by golly it is. We haven't even scratched the surface of the season yet."

The previous record for an early "F" storm was set in 2005 by Tropical Storm Franklin, which formed in the Bahamas on July 22 of that year. For comparison, the average letter "F" storm forms in early September. And, as you may recall, 2005 was the year Hurricane Katrina killed over 1,800 people, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since 1928.

Hurricane Katrina damage in New Orleans
Alvaro Leiva / agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo

And what you probably didn't know is that this is the second similar storm-naming record to be set this year. Tropical Storm Edouard, which formed on July 4, became the earliest "E" storm ever in the Atlantic, taking the record from Tropical Storm Emily, also in 2005.

On Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center warned that Fay will bring heavy rain and possible flooding to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, specifically from Maryland to Rhode Island. So storm watchers, brace yourselves. And for more on awful storms, check out 33 Facts About Storms That Will Make You Run for Cover.

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