Breakdown: Why another busy hurricane season is predicted

Published: May. 30, 2021 at 9:25 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This 2021 hurricane season is expected to be another busy one. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. That’s not good odds, I know but there is a slither of good news and that is that NOAA doesn’t expect another outrageous season like the activity we saw in 2020.

Predictions for the 2021 hurricane season
Predictions for the 2021 hurricane season(NHC)

This 2021 season,13 to 20 named storms which are winds of 39 mph or higher. Six to ten could become hurricanes which are winds of 74 mph or higher. Finally, 3 to 5 major hurricanes which is category three or higher and winds of 111 mph or higher is forecasted this season.

Here’s what took place in the 2021 season that produced 30 named storms:

  • 13 hurricanes (6 major)
  • 15 tropical storms
  • 2 subtropical storms

The record breaking 2020 season produce six hurricanes that made landfall in the U.S., of which three of those six made landfall on the Gulf Coast states which included Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta, and Hurricane Zeta),

The reason for another above average season is that some of the elements for the 2020 season will be in place this season. Things like the warmer than normal ocean waters in the Atlantic and Caribbean, weaker trade winds across the Atlantic and according to forecasters a strong West African monsoon. One of the things that is missing is in this 2021 season vs the 2020 season is that it was a La Niña year, which can make hurricane development more favorable. Forecasters say that while it is not in place now, it could return later in the year.

This is not cause for alarm but a time to prepare especially for areas along the coast. Hurricane season typically goes from June 1 to November 30 but judging from the past few years including this season, we know hurricanes can happen beyond the official dates so now is the time to prepare.

Check out the Hurricane Names for the 2021 Season and we have already checked off our first named storm that formed in the Atlantic. Thankfully it fizzled in the northern Atlantic and didn’t make landfall. For the past 7 years we have had storms to arrive before the official June 1st start.

NOAA's official list of hurricane names for the 2021 season
NOAA's official list of hurricane names for the 2021 season(NHC)

Here’s to hoping we won’t even come close to completing this list.

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