2021 hurricane season forecast: ‘Above-normal’ hurricane season expected

Weather News

FILE – This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Florence, upper left, in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. At center is Tropical Storm Isaac and at right is Hurricane Helene. (NOAA via AP)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — An “above-normal” hurricane season is expected for 2021, according to an annual forecast published Thursday by Colorado State University.

The forecast predicts 17 named storms, with eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. On average, there are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes, according to the university.

The forecast calls for a 45% chance of at least one major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. East Coast, including peninsula Florida. The average over the last century is 31%. The entire continental U.S. coastline has a 69% chance while the average over the last century is 52%.

The forecast says it is unlikely that El Nino conditions will occur during the hurricane season, which would lower Atlantic hurricane activity. The university said the subtropical Atlantic water temperatures are warmer than normal.

Coastal residents are reminded that they should prepare the same for every hurricane season, regardless of the forecast, because it only takes one to make it an active season for them.

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In 2020, there were a record 30 named storms — beating 2005’s record of 28 — with 13 hurricanes and six major hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A hurricane is considered a major hurricane if it has wind speeds of 111 mph or greater.

In 2020, Hurricane Isaias impacted the Grand Strand, making landfall in North Carolina just across the South Carolina border.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) will no longer use the Greek Alphabet to name storms after 2020’s record-breaking season.

The WMO said the names were a distraction and caused more confusion, so going forward, a second set of names will be used after the standard list is exhausted.

The supplemental list of names that will replace the Greek alphabet in the Atlantic are: Adria, Braylen, Caridad, Deshawn, Emery, Foster, Gemma, Heath, Isla, Jacobus, Kenzie, Lucio, Makayla, Nolan, Orlanda, Pax, Ronin, Sophie, Tayshaun, Viviana, and Will.

The WMO also retired Dorian, Laura, Eta, and Iota as names due to the death and destruction caused by those storms. In total, 93 names have been retired from the rotation since 1953, the WMO said.

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