2021 hurricane season: What current storms should people be afraid of?
Last year, we had the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record. Unfortunately, it was also the fifth costliest Atlantic hurricane season to date according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). In 2020, we also had the highest accumulated cyclone energy since 2017. The NOAA also reported that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the fifth consecutive “above average” season since 2016.
In 2021, the NOAA has predicted another above-average Atlantic hurricane season. After what was a tumultuous 2020 hurricane season, it’s time we prepare for the possible storms ahead. Let’s take a look at what & when to expect this current hurricane season.
The NOAA’s predictions for 2021
The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has estimated there’s a 60% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. However, forecasters have stated they’re not anticipating the previous record-breaking storm activity which was seen last year.
This year, experts have theorized there will possibly be a range of thirteen to twenty named storms. Out of these storms, six to ten could become hurricanes including three to five major hurricanes. The NOAA has defined major hurricanes as being categories three to five with winds of 111 mph or higher. The NOAA reports that these numbers are provided with 70% confidence.
“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” stated Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”
Tropical Storm Bill
Tropical Storm Bill is the second named storm this hurricane season. The current hurricane season dates June 1st to November 30th. Last night, the storm was upgraded from a tropical depression as it reached maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, a category 1 hurricane has minimum wind speeds of 74 mph.
This morning, the current storm was located about 240 miles southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The storm is now heading north at a speed of 31 mph, and it’s expected to be continuing north until Wednesday with increasing speed. Tropical Storm Bill is said to strengthen minorly before dissipating on Wednesday south of Nova Scotia.
Two possible storms in Mexico
There have been two recorded weather disturbances in Mexico that are predicted to strengthen. One of the possible storms is located in the Gulf of Mexico and is causing showers over the Bay of Campeche, just west of the Yucatán Peninsula. It is expected to head north and transform into a tropical depression by the end of this week.
This disturbance may also bring heavy rains to the northern Gulf Coast. However, the second weather disturbance is located hundreds of miles south of Cabo Verde Islands. It is currently being described as a tropical wave. A tropical wave can cause areas of intense cloudiness and thunderstorms.
Tropical Storm Ana
Just days after the NOAA reported the upcoming above-normal hurricane season, Tropical Storm Ana began to form off Bermuda at the end of May. This would make it the seventh consecutive year where a named storm prematurely began the current hurricane season.
The occurrence progressed to a tropical storm level before weakening to a tropical depression. Tropical Storm Ana was a quiet start at what is expected to be an active hurricane season.
Possible storms ahead
Lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center Matthew Rosencrans has stated: “Predicted warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon will likely be factors in this year’s overall activity.”
It has also been reported that the rising of sea levels & slower storms are causing more storm surges with more destructive potential. As we head into the current 2021 hurricane season, stay informed & prepared for the intense weather announcements to come.