As we continue to adapt and exercise precautions during the pandemic, the 2021 hurricane season is approaching once again. Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers released their annual hurricane season forecast
on April 8, and they’re predicting an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season in 2021, with the average being based on the seasons from 1981 to 2010.
They stated that sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic are currently near average, while most of the subtropical Atlantic is warmer than normal. They anticipate “an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.” Researchers also say that current weak La Niña conditions may transition to neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation by summer/fall, but that the odds of a significant El Niño seem unlikely.
The CSU researchers predict 17 named storms during the season. Of those, they expect eight to become hurricanes and four to become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5). Also forecasted is 80 named storm days, 35 hurricane days, and 9 major hurricane days, which are defined as four six-hour periods in which the conditions for the classification of the storm are observed, i.e. winds of at least 111 mph for major hurricanes.
Landfall probabilities for at least one major hurricane include a 69 percent chance for the entire U.S. coastline; 45 percent for the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida peninsula; 44 percent for the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas; and 58 percent for the Caribbean.
The 2020 season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history with 30 named storms.