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Top 10 Weather Events of 2020

30 Dec 2020, 10:00 am

#10 & #9 – Extreme SW Heat & Drought, Colorado Wildfires

Countless heat records were broken during a non-existent monsoon season in the southwest. These hot and dry conditions helped spark a historic fire season in Colorado. Meteorologist Rob Bradley kicks off our list of the Top 10 Weather Events of 2020 with number 10 and number 9.


#8 Mid-December Nor’easter

Before the year was through, Mother Nature made sure to get in one last wintry punch. Meteorologist Karissa Klos recaps the Mid-December Nor’easter that walloped the northeast in number 8 on our list of the Top 10 Weather Events of 2020.


#7 Deadly Start to Tornado Season

From dozens of January tornadoes to Easter Sunday’s severe storms, 2020 saw several notable, deadly outbreaks in the first half of the year. Meteorologist Kara James highlights these dangerous and destructive events in number 7 on our list of the Top 10 Weather Events of 2020.


#6 Hurricane Sally

With winds up to 100 mph and up to 30” of rainfall, Hurricane Sally left its mark on the Gulf Coast. Meteorologist Patrick Crawford highlights why this billion-dollar disaster makes it to number 6 on our Top 10 Weather Events of 2020.


#5 Tennessee Tornadoes

Residents in Nashville will not soon forget the deadly tornado outbreak that ripped through middle Tennessee in March of 2020. John Van Pelt takes a look back in number 5 on our Top 10 Weather Events of 2020.


#4 Hurricane Isaias

Hurricane Isaias paralleled the U.S. east coast for days, bringing flooding rains and tornadoes from Florida to Pennsylvania. Meteorologist Steve Glazier explains why this storm belongs at number 4 on our list of the Top 10 Weather Events of 2020.


#3 August 10 Derecho

A powerful line of storms traveled 770 miles in 14 hours producing hurricane force winds and catastrophic damage in Iowa. Meteorologist Meredith Garofalo spoke with Iowa residents about the historic Derecho that comes in at number 3 on our list of the Top 10 Weather Events of 2020.


#2 California/NW Firestorm

Wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington burned at record levels this year, charring the landscape and creating apocalyptic scenes. Meteorologist Meredith Garofalo shows us why the West Coast Firestorm comes in at number 2 on our list of the Top 10 Weather Events of 2020.


#1 Hurricane Laura

With 150 mph winds and higher than 15 feet of storm surge, Hurricane Laura was the strongest land-falling U.S. hurricane of the 2020 season, and one of several to target the Louisiana coast. Meteorologist Devon Lucie looks at why Laura is number 1 on our list of the Top 10 Weather Events of 2020.


Want more? Check out these extras:

Wild Weather Around the World

We continue our look back at 2020 with Meteorologist Caroline Brown by exploring the top weather stories around the globe this year.


Record Breaking Tropical Season

With 30 named storms, 12 of which making landfall in the U.S., the 2020 Atlantic tropical season will be one for the record books. Meteorologist Steve Glazier continues our look back of the year by breaking down the things that made the 2020 season unique.


Top Videos of the Year

We’re highlighting the top weather events of 2020 to finish out the year. And Meteorologist Kara James highlights the top weather *videos* that showed us what this year’s biggest stories were all about.


Hurricane Season Recap

30 named storms. 12 land-falling tropical systems. Billions and billions of dollars in damage. John Van Pelt recaps the notable storms of the historic 2020 hurricane season.


Top Animal Videos

We want to bring back some of our favorite animal videos of 2020. If you need a smile throughout the year, be sure to follow us for more videos like these on @WeatherNation on social media.


About the author
Karissa is the Director of On-Air Operations at WeatherNation. Karissa grew up loving math and science, but really fell in love with Meteorology while attending the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After two summers of storm chasing in the central plains, she knew that it was the career path for her. Standing in front of a thunderstorm and feeling the cool outflow knock her over was an e... Load Morexperience she will never forget. After two years at COD, she transferred to Metropolitan State University of Denver. Karissa graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology. Her high school and college speech and meteorology professors were extremely supportive and pushed her to succeed. Before joining the WeatherNation team, she previously worked as the Morning Meteorologist at KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa and at WMBD-TV in Peoria, IL. She recently was part of a National Edward R. Murrow award winning team for breaking news for their coverage of the EF-4 tornado in Washington, Illinois. In her free time, Karissa enjoys cooking and trying new foods. She is a self proclaimed 'TV Junkie' who can get into just about any show. She is a die hard Chicago sports fan who loves attending professional sporting events.