May 21, 2021 – The U.S. faces an above-normal 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicting 13 to 20 named storms. Six to 10 will likely become hurricanes, and three to five likely major hurricanes.
The 2021 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 until November 30, is more than a week out, but there are already two storms brewing in the Atlantic basin.
This year will not be as busy as last year; the NOAA announced Thursday (May 20) in its initial outlook.
“Based on our current data and analysis, we do not expect a 2021 hurricane season to be as active as 2020,” said Matthew Rosencrans, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
NOAA also said it’s changing what constitutes a “normal season,” based on the last two decades of hurricanes.
The average Atlantic hurricane season will have 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The previous season averages were 12 named storms, six hurricanes, of which three were significant.
Climate change is not directly responsible for the new averages, Rosencrans said.
“Climate change does not have a direct impact on the number of named storms,” according to the latest research, he said. “Most of the increase in storms is really a reflection of the better technology to detect the storms.”