Hurricane Risk Dips Slightly

Ernie NeffForecast, hurricane

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Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers on Aug. 5 slightly reduced the number of storms and hurricanes they expect in the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

The researchers reduced the number of expected storms to 18, down from 20 in the July forecast. The number of expected storms is now the same as CSU projected in June. As for the expected number of hurricanes, the researchers reduced the expected number to eight, down from nine in July but the same as the June projection.

The primary reason for the reduction in CSU’s forecast from early July was a slight decrease in the statistical and dynamical model guidance that underpins the outlooks.  

Five named storms have already formed in 2020: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny and Elsa. Elsa is the only one that became a hurricane. Elsa made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on July 7. Heavy rain, flooding, strong winds and tornadoes spread across parts of the Southeast and Northeast.

The CSU team predicts that 2021 hurricane activity will be about 120% of the average season. By comparison, hurricane activity in the 2020 season was about 145% of the average season. The 2020 hurricane season had six landfalling continental U.S. hurricanes, including Category 4 Hurricane Laura, which battered southwestern Louisiana.

The report includes the following probabilities of major hurricanes making landfall after Aug. 4:

  • 65% for the entire U.S. coastline
  • 40% for the East Coast, including the Florida peninsula
  • 41% for the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas
  • 54% for the Caribbean

See the full August report from CSU.

Source: Colorado State University

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