hurricane season

More Storms in ‘Average’ Hurricane Season

Dan Citrus, Weather

hurricane season

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will issue its initial seasonal outlook for the 2021 hurricane season in late May. The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.

Beginning with this year’s hurricane season outlooks, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) will use 1991-2020 as the new 30-year period of record. The updated averages for the Atlantic hurricane season have increased with 14 named storms and 7 hurricanes. The average for major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) remains unchanged at 3.

The previous Atlantic storm averages, based on the period from 1981 to 2010, were 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

NOAA is updating the set of statistics used to determine when seasons are above-, near-, or below-average relative to the climate record. This update process occurs once every decade.  

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“This update allows our meteorologists to make forecasts for the hurricane season with the most relevant climate statistics taken into consideration,” said Michael Farrar, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

The increase in the averages may be attributed to the overall improvement in observing platforms, including NOAA’s fleet of next-generation environmental satellites and continued hurricane reconnaissance. It may also be due to the warming ocean and atmosphere, which are influenced by climate change. The update also reflects a very busy period over the last 30 years, which includes many years of a positive Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which can increase Atlantic hurricane activity. 

“These updated averages better reflect our collective experience of the …..

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