NOAA releases 2021 Hurricane Outlook for Atlantic Basin

Tracking the Tropics

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released their 2021 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Outlook. The Atlantic Basin covers the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. The forecast calls for a 60% chance of an above-normal season, but not to be as active as the historic 2020 season was.

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NOAA is predicting 13-20 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). Colorado State is another group that forecasts tropical development. Back in April, they issued their forecast, calling for 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. These two forecasts take into account the storm Arthur that formed in the Atlantic last week.

On average, we see 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.

Other factors that lead NOAA to believe that this will be an above average include the fact that we have been seeing an era of hyper activity since 1995 that is likely not going to end this year, ENSO neutral conditions will be in place, above average sea surface temperatures, and less vertical wind shear in place. There is also an enhanced West African Monsoon that also enhances the probability for a hyper active Atlantic hurricane season.

“Although NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community.”

Acting NOAA administrator Ben Friedman
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You can read more about NOAA’s forecast here, including how a potential La Niña could play a role in increased tropical activity.

The tropical season for the Atlantic Basin officially starts on June 1 running through November 30. The peak tropical season is typically in August, September, and October.

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Did your name make the list? Read more about why storms have been given names.

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