ORLANDO, Fla. – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday released its annual outlook for the hurricane season.
NOAA is forecasting 13-20 named storms in 2021, with six to 10 hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes, meaning category 3 or higher.
This is on the heels of a record-setting hurricane season, at least in terms of the number of named storms in a single season. In terms of intensity, measured by accumulated cyclone energy, the season ranked 13th.
What is considered an average hurricane season increased in 2021 due to the higher frequency of tropical activity over the last 30 years. The climatological average is updated every 10 years and includes data from the previous 30 years.
Why an above-average forecast for 2021?
- Lack of El-Nino for the peak of hurricane season. El-Nino tends to suppress tropical development.
- Warmer than average ocean temperatures. Tropical systems get their energy from warm water.
- Enhanced west African monsoon. Increases storm activity off of Africa.
It is impossible to forecast if any of these storms will make landfall or impact the Sunshine State at this point in time, but last month, Colorado State University, predicted a higher-than-normal chance that a storm will track within 50 miles of Florida.
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