Atlantic hurricane season ranks 4th for most-named storms in a year

NOAA's GOES-16 satellite captures Hurricane Idalia approaching the western coast of Florida while Hurricane Franklin churns in the Atlantic Ocean on August 29. NOAA announced Tuesday that the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends Thursday, ranked 4th for the most-named storms. Photo courtesy of NOAA Satellites

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially comes to a close on Thursday, stirred up a fourth-place ranking when it comes to most-named storms in a year.

The Atlantic basin was hit with 20 named storms in 2023. That is the highest number named storms in a year since 1950, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"The Atlantic basin produced the most named storms of any El Niño influenced year in the modern record," said Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center -- a division of NOAA's National Weather Service. "The record-warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic provided a strong counterbalance to the traditional El Niño impacts."

Out of this year's 20 named storms, seven were hurricanes and three intensified to hurricanes. An average season typically has 14 named storms.

Hurricane Idalia was this year's only hurricane to make U.S. landfall. Idalia hit on Aug. 30, near Keaton Beach in Florida as a category-3 hurricane. It caused a storm surge of up to 12 feet and widespread rainfall, along with at least three deaths and billions of dollars in damages.

Tropical Storm Ophelia also made landfall on Emerald Isle in North Carolina. The strong tropical storm caused significant flooding with 70 mile-per-hour winds on Sept. 23.

One week earlier, Hurricane Lee made landfall as a deadly post-tropical cyclone in Nova Scotia, Canada. Hurricane-force gusts caused extensive power outages in Maine and parts of Canada.

Other named storms in 2023 included Jose, Harold, Tammy, Franklin and Arlene, according to NOAA's Tuesday post on X, formerly Twitter.

"Another active hurricane season comes to a close where hazards from the storms extended well inland from the landfall location," said NOAA National Hurricane Center Director Michael Brennan, Ph.D. "This underscores the importance of having a plan to stay safe whether you're at the coast or inland."