Good riddance! Another active hurricane season comes to a close

Active season had third most named storms on record

Tracks and intensity

ORLANDO, Fla. – Hurricane season is officially over! That doesn’t mean a storm can’t develop in December, though. In fact, they have, but tropical activity becomes extremely unlikely once the season is done. If a storm were to develop post season, it would involve a continuation of the 2021 names. In this case, the new supplemental list of names would be used since all of the names for the season have been exhausted.

The 2021 season will be remembered for its fast-paced start and its abrupt finish. For the seventh consecutive year, a storm developed prior to the official start to hurricane season. The activity basically shut down once we entered October. Hurricane Sam transitioned into a post-tropical storm on Oct. 5 in the North Atlantic, and the tropics weren’t heard from again until just before Halloween. In November, no storms were named, but in 2020, eight storms were named in October and November alone.

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2021 vs 2020

All used up

For only the third time since naming storms began in the 1950s, all of the names for the season were used. This makes 2021 the third most active season on record in terms of named storms. With satellite technology improving, the National Hurricane Center is naming more storms than in years and decades past.

2021 season

In terms of intensity, 2021 was only the 28th most intense Atlantic Hurricane Season, coming in with an accumulated cyclone energy of 145.1. The average ACE for a season is 121.8. For perspective, the most intense season on record was in 1933 with an ACE of 258.6. The hyperactive season of 2005 closely follows with an ACE of 245.3. ACE measures the intensity and longevity of storms and helps to “weed out” weaker systems to more accurately gauge the season.

With that said, it only takes one.

This satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and captured by NOAA's GOES-16 shows lightning swirling around the eye of Hurricane Ida as the storm approaches the Louisiana coast, Sunday morning, Aug. 29, 2021. (NOAA via AP)

Ida is the storm that will most be remembered from 2021 as it came ashore in Louisiana as a powerful category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.

2021 storm recap

Grace, that impacted Mexico, along with fish storms Larry and Sam were the other major hurricanes of the season.

Florida was impacted by three landfalling tropical storms in 2021, but they were relatively weak. Elsa, Fred and Mindy all made landfall in the Big Bend/Panhandle region of the Sunshine State. Central Florida was thankfully spared once again from tropical impacts.

Thanks for reading the tropical tracker and sticking with News 6 and the Pinpoint Weather Team this season! Now that the season is over, the weekly updates will stop, but if there is something brewing we will of course let you know. Hopefully the next time we talk about the tropics is June 1, and things are much calmer.


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.