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Colorado State hurricane experts predict an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2021

The forecast for 2021 calls for an active season, with 17 named tropical storms, and eight of them possibly becoming hurricanes.

It seems like we just wrapped up the historic 2020 hurricane season. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season had an incredible 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes and six hurricanes that reached Category 3 status or stronger.

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers are predicting a less busy, but above-average hurricane season for 2021.

The respected hurricane research university predicts an above-average hurricane season with 17 named storms and eight hurricanes. Of those, they are forecasting eight hurricanes, with four that reach major hurricane strength. 

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

A normal season typically brings 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. CSU has issued seasonal hurricane forecasts for more than three decades with great accuracy.

The National Hurricane Center determines a storm's danger potential by assigning a category to the storm between 1 and 5, based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which estimates potential property damage based on the storm's sustained wind speed. 

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

Hurricanes above a Category 3 are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for devastating damage, according to the NHC.

Dr. Philip Klotzbach, the hurricane specialist at CSU, presented the forecast Thursday during the National Tropical Weather Conference. Klotzbach said the primary reason for the above-average forecast is based on a predicted lack of El Niño to induce wind shear inhibiting tropical cyclones and a warmer than normal subtropical Atlantic.

Regardless of how many storms develop, it only takes one storm to make the season “active” for any community that gets hit. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Routine outlooks at the National Hurricane Center will begin May 15th, which is new this year.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

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

Learn more about preparing for hurricane season at the 10 Tampa Bay Hurricane Headquarters.

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