“Above average” hurricane season still expected with NOAA update
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As we near the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, NOAA forecasters released an update to their forecast for the 2021 season.
In a press release, NOAA forecasters predict a 65% chance for an “above-normal” hurricane season, and a 25% chance for a near-normal season .
The early August forecast calls for a total of 15-21 named storms. Of which, 7-10 could become hurricanes, and 3-5 could become major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger). This forecast does include the storms that have already formed this season, including one hurricane.
One positive for this year: Sea-surface temperatures are found to currently be near normal at this point in the year, compared to at this point in 2020. Scientists cited that other factors (including an active West African Monsoon season) will lead to increased activity, but should not give us the record year like in 2020.
The La Nina watch that NOAA has previously issued is another factor that contributes to an above average season. It weakens wind shear over the Atlantic Basin causing conditions to be favorable for tropical development. The chance for La Nina conditions is 47% for August through September, and greater than 50% in the later months of Hurricane Season
While this particular forecast calls for more storms than average this season, we want to reiterate that this does not necessarily mean an increased risk for tropical cyclone impacts for the Brazos Valley. Texas typically sees its highest volume of tropical cyclone impacts in June-September, where landfall become increasingly less likely for the Lone Star State from October onward.
If this season plays out as predicted, this will be the 6th consecutive active hurricane season .
The Atlantic season lasts from June 1 to November 30, but peaks from August to October.
Copyright 2021 KBTX. All rights reserved.