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NOAA predicts another “above-normal” hurricane season

13-20 named storms expected in 2021
A satellite image of Hurricane Isaac over the US Gulf coast on August 28, 2012. (Source: NASA...
A satellite image of Hurricane Isaac over the US Gulf coast on August 28, 2012. (Source: NASA Observatory)
Published: May. 20, 2021 at 11:43 AM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 11:54 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center at the National Weather Service are calling for another active Atlantic hurricane season.

In a press release Thursday, NOAA forecasters predict a 60% chance for an “above-normal” hurricane season, and a 30% chance for a near-normal season .

The mid-May forecast calls for a total of 13-20 named storms. Of which, 6-10 could become hurricanes, and 3-5 could become major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger).

NOAA has released their first forecast for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season
NOAA has released their first forecast for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season(KBTX)

Forecasters cite a neutral ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) start to the season, possibly reverted to a La Niña in the late summer, which generally allows for a “relaxing” of upper level winds in the tropical Atlantic. These conditions often aid tropical cyclone formation.

This is the second forecast ahead of the season to call for an “above average” Atlantic season.

Released their updated forecast in April, using the same wording for the Atlantic season, siting similar reasons for their prediction.

While this particular forecast calls for more storms than average this season, we want to reiterate that this does not necessarily mean an increased risk for tropical cyclone impacts for the Brazos Valley. Texas typically sees its highest volume of tropical cyclone impacts in June-September, where landfall become increasingly less likely for the Lone Star State from September onward.

The Atlantic season lasts from June 1 to November 30.

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