Here’s why an ‘average’ hurricane season now has more storms

Higher averages based on last 30 years of data

This satellite image provided by the NOAA shows five tropical cyclones churning in the Atlantic basin at 5:20 p.m. GMT on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The storms, from left, are Hurricane Sally over the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Paulette over Bermuda, the remnants of Tropical Storm Rene, and Tropical Storms Teddy and Vicky. (NOAA via AP) (Uncredited)

Increased hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin over the last 30 years has led to new averages when it comes to the Atlantic hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updates the statistics to determine when a season is below average, above or average. This update is done every ten years and reflects the previous 30 years of data. This most recent dataset runs from 1991-2020.

Average Atlantic season

“This update allows our meteorologists to make forecasts for the hurricane season with the most relevant climate statistics taken into consideration,” said Michael Farrar, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

The increase in averages could be attributed to the improvement of weather observing technology. The increase could also be related to warming of the ocean and atmosphere as a result of climate change.

The new averages will be reflected on NOAA’s 2021 hurricane season outlook which will be released in May, prior to the start of hurricane season June 1.

Colorado State University, a respected source for hurricane forecasts, issued its outlook for the upcoming hurricane season. Click here for the outlook.