Atlantic hurricane season shows no signs of slowing

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2021—The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season continues with an above-average season forecast despite a quiet July.

According to a mid-season update by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, atmospheric and oceanic conditions remain favorable for an above-average season.

The CPC’s updated outlook states:

  • Number of expected named storms (winds 39 mph or greater) — 15-21
  • Hurricanes — 7-10
  • Major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5) — 3-5

This outlook includes the five named storms that have formed so far.

“The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead,” said Dr. Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator.

Matthew Rosencrans, NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the CPC, echoed Spinrad’s assessment.

“A mix of competing oceanic and atmospheric conditions generally favor above-average activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, including the potential return of La Nina in the months ahead,” he said.

Atlantic sea surface temperatures are not expected to be as warm as they were during the record-breaking 2020 season; however, reduced vertical wind shear and an enhanced west Africa monsoon all contribute to the current conditions that can increase seasonal hurricane activity, according to NOAA.

NOAA’s update to the 2021 outlook covers the entire six-month hurricane season that ends Nov. 30.

The seasonal outlook from NOAA is not a landfall forecast as landfalls are typically only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline.

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