NOAA updates 2021 hurricane outlook, predicts above-average season

On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) put out its predictions for the rest of the 2021 hurricane season and now says there is a 65% chance of above-average activity. Originally, NOAA forecasters predicted a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA predicts we will see 15-21 named storms, which is above the average of 14. Seven to 10 of those storms will become hurricanes with three-five being major hurricanes. 

On average the Atlantic typically sees seven hurricanes with three major hurricanes. 

FOX 13 Meteorologist Jim Weber says the updated prediction makes sense given all of the activity the Atlantic has seen in the past few years. 

Last year, NOAA also predicted an above-average season, citing conditions similar to what’s expected this year. And the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season ended up not just breaking the record for the number of storms, but shattering it.  

Weber says there isn’t a lot going on in the tropics at the moment thanks to the Saharan dust layer making its way across the Atlantic. 

He is watching two areas off the coast of Africa that have little chance of immediate development. One area has a 30% chance of developing over the next five days and the other area has a 20% chance of development over the next five days. 

Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

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