Scientists with NOAA unveiled their 2021 Hurricane Season Outlook for the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic hurricane basins today while the National Hurricane Center warned that it appears the first storm of the Atlantic season is likely taking shape.
“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”
The NOAA outlook expects, with a 70% probability, that there will be 13-20 named storms in the Atlantic season. Of those storms, 6-10 are expected to become hurricanes. With those hurricanes, half, roughly 3-5, are expected to intensify to a Category 3 or worse storm which would classify them as a “major” hurricane.
“With hurricane season starting on June 1, now is the time to get ready and advance disaster resilience in our communities,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Visit Ready.gov and Listo.gov to learn and take the steps to prepare yourself and others in your household. Download the FEMA app to sign-up for a variety of alerts and to access preparedness information. Purchase flood insurance to protect your greatest asset, your home. And, please encourage your neighbors, friends and coworkers to also get ready for the upcoming season.”
Similar to the Central Pacific basin outlook issued yesterday, NOAA expects that the Eastern Pacific basin will likely see a near or below normal season. In the eastern Pacific basin, which covers the eastern North Pacific Ocean east of 140°W north of the equator, NOAA says there’s a 45% chance of a near-normal season and a 35% chance of a below-normal season. A total of 12-18 named storms are expected here, 5-10 which will become hurricanes, and 2-5 major hurricanes .
The Atlantic and Central Pacific Hurricane Season starts on June 1 while the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season begins on May 15. Seasons in both basins end on November 30.
An active 2021 Atlantic season is coming off a hyper-active 2020 that saw a record number of storms.
“Although NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator. “The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are well-prepared with significant upgrades to our computer models, emerging observation techniques, and the expertise to deliver the life-saving forecasts that we all depend on during this, and every, hurricane season.”
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are getting an early jump on the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Forecasters there say there’s a 70% chance that a subtropical storm will form in the Atlantic over the next 5 days. According to the National Hurricane Center, a non-tropical low pressure system is located about 800 miles east of Bermuda now and is expected to develop gale-force winds later today while it moves generally northward. The low is then forecast by the National Hurricane Center to move westward and southwestward over warmer waters tonight and Friday, and it will likely become a subtropical cyclone near and to the northeast of Bermuda on Friday. The system is expected to move toward the north and northeast into a more hostile environment by late Sunday into Monday with additional development unexpected then.
Should the system become named, it would take the first name of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season name list even if it forms before June 1. The first name on the list is Ana.
The NOAA forecast is in-line with an outlook issued earlier this spring by experts at Colorado State University. That outlook, issued in April, called for a total of 17 named storms of which 8 are expected to be hurricanes and 4 are expected to be major hurricanes.