Atlantic hurricane season to be "more active than usual"

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Atlantic hurricane season to be

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be more active than usual and with a larger number of storms expected, according to a recent outlook.

However, the season is not expected to be as severe as last year.

The outlook increases the number of named storms and major hurricanes by one and now calls for 19 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes, according to Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at The Weather Company.

A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or higher (115-plus-mph winds) on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

This forecast is above the 30-year average (1991 to 2020) of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

The Weather Company outlook is based on a number of factors, including Atlantic Ocean sea-surface temperatures, La Niña and other teleconnections, computer model forecast guidance and past hurricane seasons exhibiting similar atmospheric conditions.

"The latest data and forecasts suggest a slightly more aggressive forecast for 2021 is in order, although still nothing close to what happened in 2020," Crawford said.

A record 30 named storms formed in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, 14 of which became hurricanes.

Warmer sea surface temperature data and recent computer forecast models indicate a slightly busier season may be ahead compared to what was forecast in early April.

This forecast is similar to the April outlook issued by Colorado State University.

The current ocean temperature anomalies in the Atlantic Basin "correlate relatively well with what is typically seen in active Atlantic hurricane seasons," said Dr. Phil Klotzbach, who leads the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project.

But the warmth isn't nearly the magnitude we saw a year ago.

"Current Atlantic SSTs (sea-surface temperatures), when taken in aggregate, are at lower levels than last year," Crawford said.

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