HOLT, Fla., May 12, 2021—Another above-average hurricane season is in the future for 2021 according to forecasting experts.
Colorado State University’s Tropical Weather and Climate Research team released its predictions in April for the 2021 season that begins June 1.
The CSU team is predicting 17 named storms this season. Of those, researchers expect eight to become hurricanes, with four reaching major hurricane strength.
Last season, there were 30 named storms, 14 hurricanes and seven major hurricanes (category 3 or higher), making 2020 a record-breaking season on multiple fronts.
It was also the fifth consecutive season with at least one category 5 storm.
Additionally, CSU gives the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle to Brownsville, Texas, a 45 percent probability of a landfall this season, which is a 15 percent higher-than-average chance.
A “normal” hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. This is based on 30-year data, from 1991 to 2020.
The absence of El Nino as a primary factor, along with a warmer subtropical Atlantic Ocean, favors a more active season, according to the forecast.
The presence of El Nino “tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form,” the report stated.
According to research at the University of Miami, the number of named storms, as well as the average number of hurricanes and major hurricanes, have risen during the past few years.
When comparing 60-year data, the quantity of named storms has increased nearly 20 percent in the past 10 years, with hurricanes increasing 26 percent and major hurricanes leaping to a 46 percent increase.
Besides rising water temperatures, forecast technology in the form of higher-resolution satellite data has allowed forecasters to identify weaker and short-lived tropical storms that otherwise went undetected in previous years.