2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast
After everything that’s happened over the past year, we may feel like we deserve a quiet hurricane season.
“We are forecasting a well-above-average hurricane season,” said Phil Klotzbach, research scientist for Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project, in a presentation Thursday to the National Tropical Weather Conference.
The forecast cited two major reasons to expect a busy season. This year is unlikely to experience an El Niño, the warming of part of the Pacific Ocean that produces high-level winds over the Atlantic that can tear up storm systems before they can form hurricanes.
The forecast, if it turns out to be accurate, would not be as bad as last year’s record-breaking season, which generated 30 named storms, including 13 hurricanes, exhausting the list of hurricane names selected for that year.
The prediction released last month by AccuWeather, the private forecasting service, which said to expect seven to 10 hurricane, with three to five reaching major strength.
Early season forecasts have varied in accuracy. Last year Colorado State’s April forecast called for eight hurricanes for a season that would produce 13. But the previous year, the April forecast was pretty close, predicting five hurricanes for a season that would produce six. And the year before that, the prediction called for seven hurricanes, and the season produced eight.
Forecast released closer to the season’s start date tend to be the most accurate. Colorado State and other forecasters will be releasing updated outlooks, including ones before the season’s peak begins in August.