NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s less than two weeks until the official start of hurricane season, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has come out with their 2021 hurricane season forecast.
After a lot of hard work examining atmospheric and oceanic conditions and models, NOAA has determined a 60% chance hurricane activity will be above average, a 30% chance that it will be near normal, and a 10% chance that it will fall below normal.
Looking a little more in depth, NOAA’s forecasters are predicting 13 to 20 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 5 major hurricanes this season.
Last year, NOAA predicted above-average activity, and that prediction came to fruition. The 2020 hurricane season was record-setting.
The season started early, with tropical storm Arthur forming mid-May. By September, there were enough storms to plow through the original list of 2020 Atlantic tropical cyclone names. So, NOAA was forced to move on to the Greek alphabet for only the second time in history. The first time was all the way back in 2005.
But, when hurricane Eta formed in November, it was the first ever of its name and broke the record for most named storms in a season.
The 2020 hurricane season wrapped up with 30 named storms – 13 were hurricanes.
Six of those hurricanes strengthened to become major hurricanes. Laura, Teddy, Delta, Eta, and Iota all strengthened to Category 4 hurricanes.
Seven storms resulted in damage costing $1 billion dollars or more.
Will this year be as active, as damaging, or as costly as 2020? While nothing is certain, NOAA’s forecast points toward another busy year, to say the least.