Tropics Tracker: 2021 more intense than 2020 to date

2020 had more named storms at this point

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows a view of Hurricane Ida, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Forecasters warned residents along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast to rush preparations Saturday ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Ida, which is expected to bring winds as high as 130 mph (209 kph), life-threatening storm surge and flooding rain when it slams ashore in Louisiana on Sunday. (NOAA via AP)
This satellite image provided by NOAA shows a view of Hurricane Ida, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Forecasters warned residents along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast to rush preparations Saturday ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Ida, which is expected to bring winds as high as 130 mph (209 kph), life-threatening storm surge and flooding rain when it slams ashore in Louisiana on Sunday. (NOAA via AP)

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s a quality versus quantity kind of thing. Even though 2020 has had more named storms through Sept. 8, 2021′s storms have unfortunately been stronger and have lasted longer.

Accumulated cyclone energy measures storms based on intensity and longevity once they get to tropical storm status. Powerful Hurricane Larry in the open Atlantic added 24 points to the overall ACE for the season to date. The number through Sept. 8 was 69.7. The average ACE to date is 44.5.

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2021 vs 2020 storms to date

Last year, there were more named storms and hurricanes to date but this season, there have already been three major hurricanes compared to last year’s one.

The next couple of weeks will have to be watched closely as we venture through the peak of hurricane season. A weakness in the large Bermuda high allowed for Hurricane Larry to be steered safely away from the U.S. It appears likely that a few more storms will emerge from Africa through the last week of September.

It also appears likely that a large ridge of high pressure looks to build off of the east coast of the U.S. If that indeed does happen in the coming weeks, it will increase the likelihood of a storm completely crossing the Atlantic and reaching land.


About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.