NOAA Predicts ‘Above Normal’ Hurricane Season

May 20, 2021

With the Atlantic hurricane season set to start on June 1st, the forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric have predicted “another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.”

A spokesperson said, “NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic 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. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.

“For 2021, a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms [winds of 39 mph or higher], of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes [winds of 74 mph or higher], including 3 to 5 major hurricanes [category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher] is expected. NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30.

 NOAA’s 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

2021 Hurricane Outlook piechart Bermuda May 20 2021

“Last month, NOAA updated the statistics used to determine when hurricane seasons are above-, near-, or below-average relative to the latest climate record. Based on this update an average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which 7 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.”

“El Nino Southern Oscillation [ENSO] conditions are currently in the neutral phase, with the possibility of the return of La Nina later in the hurricane season. ENSO-neutral and La Nina support the conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Highlights from NOAA’s 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

“Predicted warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon will likely be factors in this year’s overall activity,” he added.

Scientists at NOAA also continue to study how climate change is impacting the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones.

The 2021 Atlantic tropical cyclone names as selected by the World Meteorological Organization. 

2021 Hurricane Outlook names Bermuda May 20 2021

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