On Oct. 20, 2020, NOAA’s GOES-East satellite captured this four-hour GeoColor loop of Tropical Storm Epsilon, which strengthened from Tropical Depression Twenty-Seven around 11:00 a.m. ET on Oct. 19, 2020. The imagery is also overlaid with data from the satellite’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper.
Epsilon is the 26th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and beat the previous record for earliest 26th storm by more than a month. According to the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday morning, Epsilon was forecast to be “at or near hurricane strength when it approaches Bermuda late this week.” If it becomes a hurricane, it will be the Atlantic’s tenth this year.
By comparison, the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season had six named storms from the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta), but it took until the end of December 2005 for Zeta to form. One more named storm this season will tie the record for busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record. If we see a Tropical Storm Eta, 2020 will set a new record.
The GOES-East geostationary satellite, also known as GOES-16, keeps watch over most of North America, including the continental United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast of Africa. The satellite's high-resolution imagery provides optimal viewing of severe weather events, including thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes.