NOAA Predicts More Storms in Updated Hurricane Forecast
“After a record-setting start, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead.”
This hurricane season is shaping up to be even busier than expected.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center released a mid-season update to its hurricane forecast Wednesday. In the new forecast, the likelihood of an above-normal season has increased.
Experts now predict 15-21 named storms with sustained winds of 39 mph or greater. Of that, seven to 10 hurricanes are expected. And of those, three to five could reach major hurricane strength (with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater).
Those numbers are a slight increase from the forecast released in May that predicted 13-20 named storms with six to 10 becoming hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes. This updated outlook includes the five that have formed so far, with Hurricane Elsa becoming the earliest fifth named storm on record.
"After a record-setting start, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead," Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA administrator, said in a news release. "NOAA will continue to provide the science and services that are foundational to keeping communities prepared for any threatening storm."
NOAA scientists predict that the likelihood of an above-normal 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is 65%. There is a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.
"A mix of competing oceanic and atmospheric conditions generally favor above-average activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, including the potential return of La Nina in the months ahead," Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement.
NOAA's update to the 2021 outlook covers the entire hurricane season, which ends on November 30.
For more information, visit NOAA's National Hurricane Center's website at Hurricanes.gov. Visit FEMA's Ready.gov for the latest information about hurricane preparedness and evacuation safety.