First 2021 Atlantic hurricane forecast issued: How many storms can we expect?

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Apr 12, 2021, 5:12 PM

Updated 1,197 days ago

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First 2021 Atlantic hurricane forecast issued: How many storms can we expect?
Researchers at Colorado State University have issued the year's first hurricane season forecast, and the outlook calls for another above-average season.
The forecast calls for the formation of 17 names storms, eight of which will become hurricanes. Of those, half will become major hurricanes, meaning a category 3 or higher. The averages, which have recently been recalculated by NOAA, are 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
The CSU forecast also provides percentages of near-landfall (within 50 miles) events for East Coast states, which are also above-average.
NY: Named Storm 40%, Hurricane 15%, Major Hurricane 4% (Historical percentages: 27%/10%/2%, respectively)
NJ: Named Storm 34%, Hurricane 11%, Major Hurricane 1% (Historical percentages: 23%/7%/1%, respectively)
CT: Named Storm 33%, Hurricane 13%, Major Hurricane 3% (Historical percentages: 22%/8%/2%, respectively)
Additionally, the percentage of at least one major hurricane striking the East Coast is 45%, which is exceptionally high considering that the average percentage is 31.
The main reasons for the above-average forecast are both warmer than normal sea surface temperatures, and the lack of an El Niño phase in the southern Pacific Ocean. El Niño produces greater wind shear in the atmosphere, which can tend to shear developing tropical storms apart.
While all signs once again point to an active season, we aren't likely to see a repeat performance of 2020. Last year's hurricane season shattered all expectations, finishing with a record 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall in the U.S. There were so many storms, we blew through the English alphabetical list and had to use the Greek alphabet, something that had only happened once before. This prompted the World Meteorological association to eliminate the Greek list and create a supplementary A-Z list, citing distraction/confusion.
A record breaking 30 storms garnered names during the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
When reading into hurricane forecasts, it is important to note that above-average forecasts do not necessarily mean you will get hit with a storm. Consequently, on down years, that doesn't mean your preparations for a potential storm should be any less!


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