We could be in for another active hurricane season, according to the first forecast for 2021.
A total of 17 named storms, eight hurricanes, and four major hurricanes are predicted to develop in 2021, according to the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.
The 2021 hurricane season is now exhibiting characteristics similar to 1996, 2001, 2008, 2011, and 2017, said Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist in the department and author of the report detailing the forecast that can be viewed here.
“The team predicts that 2021 hurricane activity will be about 140 percent of the average season," Klotzbach said. "By comparison, 2020’s hurricane activity was about 170 percent of the average season.
"The 2020 hurricane season had six landfalling continental US hurricanes, including Category 4 Hurricane Laura which battered southwestern Louisiana."
The likely absence of El Niño was cited as the primary factor for the forecast.
The forecast is based on a new extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that was developed using 40 years of past data and bases its forecasts on a statistical model, as well as a model that uses a combination of statistical information and model output.
"Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are near their long-term averages, while subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are much warmer than their long-term average values," the forecasters said. "The warmer subtropical Atlantic also favors an active 2021 Atlantic hurricane season."
The hurricane season will officially start on Tuesday, June 1, and end on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
The National Weather Service has not yet released its projections for the 2021 hurricane season.
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