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2021 Hurricane Season: What to Expect

May 24, 2021 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The Atlantic hurricane season is set to officially kick off June 1. Forecasters are once again predicting an active season, but how does it compare to last year’s historic level of storms?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Climate Prediction Center is officially expecting 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. There will be a likely range of 13-20 named storms, 6-10 of which could become hurricanes.

These predictions are based on neutral El Nino conditions, along with the potential return of La Nina coming later in the season, which runs to Nov. 1.

Since last year’s busy hurricane season, NOAA has made several updates to improve forecasting this year, including:

  • Upgrades to the Global Forecast System, extending ocean wave forecasts out from 10 to 16 days
  • An upgraded probabilistic storm surge model that includes more accurate wind and storm size predictions, and
  • A large array of drones launched to track the various parts of the life cycle of tropical storms.

Finally, the complete list of potential storm names has been released, so be prepared to hear more about Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny and Elsa in the coming months.