NOAA releases 2021 Atlantic hurricane season prediction

Tracking the Tropics

This GOES-16 GeoColor satellite image taken Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, at 2:40 p.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, shows Hurricane Laura over the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Laura strengthened Wednesday into “an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane,” The National Hurricane Center said.
Laura is expected to strike Wednesday night into Thursday morning along the Louisiana-Texas border. (NOAA via AP)

HOUSTON (CW39) – NOAA has just released their prediction for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. This prediction includes a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. Will we see the record breaking number of storm that we saw in 2020? Experts say… not likely.

This forecast falls in line with the CSU forecast that was released earlier this year, which also anticipates an above average season.

According to NOAA, “For 2021, a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) is expected.”

So far this season we have already seen tropical development begin in the Atlantic. Currently Disturbance 1 has a 70% chance of development in the next 48 hours. This storm will likely be Ana by the end of the week.

Other factors that lead NOAA to believe that this will be an above average include the fact that we have been seeing an era of hyper activity since 1995 that is likely not going to end this year, ENSO neutral conditions will be in place, above average sea surface temperatures, and less vertical wind shear in place. There is also an enhanced West African Monsoon that also enhances the probability for a hyper active Atlantic hurricane season.

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