2021 Hurricane Season Outlook: Could Another Very Active Season Be in Store?
Following the relentless and unforgiving 2020 Hurricane Season, it is hard to believe that a new season is already upon us. While many areas along the coast continue to recover from last year’s storms, it is important that everyone in hurricane threat areas take the necessary precautions to protect their life and property should a storm impact them.
2021 Hurricane Season Predictions
Now that the most reliable hurricane season forecast agencies have released their 2021 predictions, the signs are pointing to another active season. The official Atlantic hurricane season spans June 1 to November 30, with its statistical peak on September 10.
The hurricane “averages” have been updated this year. These previously encompassed the period of 1981-2010 – but the averages are now calculated using the 1991-2020 climate period. Due to this change in climate records, the average number of named storms per season has increased from 12 to 14 and the average number of hurricanes has increased from six to seven for any given year. The number of major hurricanes (top winds of 111 mph and greater) has remained the same at three, but it is clear to see tropical storms and hurricanes are becoming more prevalent throughout the Atlantic Basin.
Colorado State University
One of the most respected hurricane season prediction agencies, Colorado State University, is forecasting yet another active year. Dr. Philip Klotzbach with CSU is forecasting 17 named storms compared to the 1991-2020 average of 14.4 storms and eight hurricanes compared to the average of 7.2 hurricanes. Their research team is also forecasting four major hurricanes versus an average of 3.2 – and Accumulated Cyclonic Energy (ACE) of 150, compared to an average of 123.
The researchers at CSU cite the current weak La Niña conditions that may transition to neutral ENSO by summer/fall, but the odds of a significant El Niño seem unlikely. An El Niño will typically greatly diminish the number of tropical storms and hurricanes due to higher wind shear and less favorable water temperatures in the Main Development Regions.
The Weather Channel
Next, we look at another highly regarded hurricane season forecast with the Weather Channel’s 2021 predictions. Updated May 13, the IBM Business-owned Weather Company is predicting 19 total named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes, according to Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at The Weather Company. This forecast is an increase of one tropical storm and one hurricane from the previous 2021 projections that were released earlier this year.
The Weather Company outlook is based on several factors including Atlantic Ocean sea-surface temperatures, La Niña and other computer model guidance and teleconnections which point to a busy season. Crawford does mention while this is an active forecasted season, he is not anticipating anywhere near the number of storms that occurred in 2020.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Finally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gives a range of numbers and is predicting 13 to 20 named storms for the 2021 hurricane season. Of these tropical storms, NOAA expects six to 10 of these systems to become hurricanes, with three to five of them becoming major hurricanes. Furthermore, they are giving a 60% chance of an above normal Atlantic hurricane season while also stating they do not believe 2021 will be as active as 2020.
Given these aggressive forecasts from well-respected agencies, everyone should be prepared for the season now and not wait until a storm is directly threatening your region.
Macro is Here For You
At Macro, we work year-round to prepare our equipment and personnel for whatever mother nature throws our way and this year is no different. We know first-hand the terrible impacts hurricanes can have on our communities and the importance of preparation and the ability to respond quickly to any natural disaster that may come our way.
We hope everyone takes these pre-season forecasts seriously and will remain mindful that it only takes one hurricane in your area to make it a very bad hurricane season.