BUFFALO, N.Y. — The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was one for the record books and that’s never a good thing when you’re talking severe weather. There were 30 named storms, 14 hurricanes, 11 of which made landfall in the U.S. This is now the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record.
The 2021 Atlantic season officially began on June 1 and there’s a strong consensus among tropical experts that this year will once again be busy. That would make six seasons in a row with above normal activity. For context, the new climatological “normal” for the Atlantic (spanning from 1991 to 2020) is 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
The National Hurricane Center, a branch of NOAA, released it’s 2021 Atlantic hurricane season outlook on May 20. Forecasters there are expecting 13 to 20 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes.
NHC experts listed three major things to watch when tracking the tropics this year: above average ocean temperatures, limited wind shear and an active African monsoon season. Watch this week’s Heather’s Weather Whys to see how each of those factors influence the intensity of hurricane season.
New episodes of Heather’s Weather Whys are posted to the WGRZ YouTube channel every Wednesday evening.