MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — 2020 will be remembered for many reasons including the Coronavirus Pandemic. However, 2020 will also go down in history as a very active weather year.
The hurricane season alone broke records with the most named storms in one year and the most storms to make landfall in the continental United States. Sally and Zeta were the most impactful storms to make landfall along our stretch of the Gulf Coast.
The number of tornadoes in our area also broke records. Jason Beaman from the National Weather Service in Mobile explains, “You look at the year-end total so for the area we serve, the 20 counties we serve, we had 26 tornadoes in 2020. One EF-2 in Covington County, 19 EF-1’s and six EF-0’s.” Even though our Weather Service office covers more counties than those in the WKRG News 5 area, seven of those tornadoes occurred in Mobile County with an additional seven confirmed in George County. With data going back to 1950, those are both records.
As far as rainfall in concerned, Mobile finished eight inches below normal where Pensacola came in eleven inches above normal. The large difference is mainly due to Hurricane Sally. Beaman explains, “Pensacola received over twenty inches of rain in Sally alone whereas Mobile was on the western edge of the hurricane, so you know, Sally was a big contributor there.”
Temperature-wise, Mobile was only one degree above normal, but Pensacola was three degrees above-average for the year which is the second warmest year on record. The top seven warmest years in Pensacola have all occurred since 2012.
We can only hope that 2021 is more quiet in the weather world, but it is important to always prepare for the worst and hope for the best.