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Experts at Colorado State University forecast above average hurricane season

Experts at Colorado State University released their first outlook for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane season 2021.
Hurricane season 2021. (WKMG)

FORT COLLINS, Co. – It seems like just yesterday that we wrapped up an historic hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin. There were 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes and six hurricanes that reached Category 3 status or stronger.

The hope is for things to improve drastically in the coming season. Experts at Colorado State University have taken their first stab at what the 2021 season will offer, in hopes to offer better news.

You may ask why a group of experts in Colorado are forecasting for a phenomenon they never see. This group has issued forecasts, like the one issued Thursday, for more than three decades with great accuracy.

This year’s forecast calls for another above average hurricane season. 17 total named storms are forecast. Eight of those are forecast to become hurricanes, and half of those are forecast to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger).

2021 Atlantic hurricane season forecast from Colorado State University

The average number of tropical storms in a season is 12. On average, six hurricanes occur and three reach Category 3 status.

Philip Klotzbach attribute their forecast to a) lack of El Niño to induce wind shear on and storms and b) a warmer than average subtropical Atlantic.

Of course, it only takes one storm to make the season “active” for any community that gets hit. Hurricane season, as a whole, runs from June 1 to November 30. Routine outlooks at the National Hurricane Center will begin May 15th, which is new this year.

Peak hurricane season runs from August through early October, when the ocean waters are typically at their warmest.

Frequency of tropical systems in the Atlantic Basin

As for those wondering what names will be used, the list is below. This is a list that runs every six years, with certain names being retired should the storm become too impactful.

Storm names for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season

Why are storms named? Taken directly from the National Hurricane Center website, “Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms had been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated through a strict procedure by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.”

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.