NOAA predicts another active Atlantic hurricane season

May 21, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
May 21, 2021

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is forecasting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020, NOAA said on May 20.

For 2021, a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) is expected. NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30. 

In April, NOAA updated the statistics used to determine when hurricane seasons are above-, near-, or below-average relative to the latest climate record. Based on this update an average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which 7 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

Last year’s record-breaking season “serves as a reminder to all residents in coastal regions or areas prone to inland flooding from rainfall to be prepared for the 2021 hurricane season,” NOAA said.

The American Public Power Association (APPA) offers a wide range of resources to its members related to hurricane and storms. Those resources include an All-Hazards Guidebook and a Restoration Best Practices Guidebook. APPA members can access disaster planning and response resources — including the public power Mutual Aid Network.

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