The Colorado State University (CSU) Department of Atmospheric Science on July 8 increased its predicted number of hurricanes in 2021 to nine, up from eight in its June forecast. It also increased the expected number of named storms to 20, up from 18 in the June forecast.
This is expected to be an above-average Atlantic basin hurricane season. The average number of actual hurricanes and storms per year from 1991 to 2020 were 7.2 and 14.4, respectively.
CSU also raised its total number of forecast storm days from 80 to 90, and the number of hurricane days from 35 to 40. The 1991 to 2020 averages were 69.4 storm days and 27 hurricane days.
Current El Niño/Southern Oscillation conditions are anticipated to persist for the next several months, CSU reported. It stated that sea surface temperatures averaged across most of the tropical Atlantic are now near to slightly above normal, and most of the subtropical North Atlantic remains warmer than normal.
According to CSU, Hurricane Elsa’s development and intensification into a hurricane in the tropical Atlantic in early July typically portends an active season. “We anticipate an above-normal probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean,” CSU added.
The CSU seasonal forecasts were developed by the late William Gray, who was lead author of the prediction for more than 20 years. He continued as a co-author until his death in 2016.
In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made its predictions for storms and hurricanes in 2021; it’s top-end numbers are similar to the latest CSU forecast. NOAA predicted a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms. Of those, six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to five major hurricanes, NOAA stated. See a report on the NOAA predictions.
Source: Colorado State University
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