The only other time the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has had to pull names from the Greek Alphabet was the historic 2005 hurricane season.
Now there’s Beta.
Just a few hours after Alpha was named, Tropical Storm Beta was named in the Gulf of Mexico.
Beta is expected to strengthen this weekend as it slowly tracks to the northwest toward the Texas coastline. However, Beta will likely not intensify into a hurricane.
“The intensity guidance has trended downward to the point where none of the models are currently forecasting Beta to become a hurricane,” according to the NHC on Saturday morning.
Beta’s biggest threat will be heavy rainfall which could lead to flash flooding. Widespread rain accumulations will be from 4 to 6 inches, with isolated spots of 8 to 10 inches.
“The expected slow motion of Beta has the potential to produce a long duration rainfall event along the western Gulf Coast,” according to the NHC. Beta slowed in forward speed from 12 mph to 3 mph on Saturday morning.
Storm surge watches are also in effect for areas of Texas and Louisiana with the expectation that some locations could see surge of up to 2 to 4 feet. This surge combined with heavy rain could bring major flooding to some portions of the Texas and Louisiana coasts.
A record-breaking season
The historic 2005 Atlantic hurricane season produced so many named storms that it reached the letter Zeta in the Greek alphabet. That means the season had a total of 27 named storms; the most in any single season.
With more than two months left until the end of Atlantic hurricane season, 2020 could surpass the 2005 in number of named storms. Already this year is far ahead of pace compared to the 2005 season. In 2005, Tropical Storm Alpha was named October 22. In 2020, Alpha was named on September 18, nearly five weeks earlier than the 2005 storm of the same name.
Every named storm so far this season, except for three (Arthur, Bertha, and Dolly), set their own personal record for earliest named storm in recorded history.