After a little over two months since the start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season on June 1, we may expect to witness even more hurricanes and named storms than scientists projected before the season ends on November 30.
In an online briefing on Wednesday (August 4), scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revised their hurricane season forecast for May 20.
They had earlier warned of above-normal hurricane activity in May, and their update verified the presence of atmospheric and ocean conditions that promote higher-than-average storm activity, according to Live Science.
According to NOAA, one such cause is the rising likelihood of a developing La Nia. This climatic trend pulls warm Pacific Ocean waters toward Asia while bringing colder water to the surface along the western coast of North America.
As a result, the Atlantic hurricane season can be more severe when La Nia dominates, and waters surrounding the equatorial Pacific are colder, according to Matthew Rosencrans, a lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center who spoke at the briefing.
According to the revised forecast, the season will see 15 to 21 named storms, up from 13 to 20 predicted in May. Seven to ten of them are expected to reach hurricane strength, compared to six to ten storms predicted in May.
The number of projected significant hurricanes - those that grow to Category 3 or higher and with winds of at least 111 mph (178 km/h) - has not changed, with three to five storms forecast.
2021 Hurricane Season
While the hurricane season of 2021 is only in its early stages, it has already set a new record. So far, five named storms have developed, with the fifth - Elsa - developing into a hurricane. Elsa, which hit Florida on July 7, was the fifth named storm to form in the Atlantic, according to Rosencrans.
NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad stated in a statement that the season's activity "does not show any indications of relenting as it reaches the peak months ahead." (Hurricane season runs from mid-August until the end of October.)
If you live in a high-risk coastal location, how can you prepare for hurricane season? According to the NOAA statement, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready.gov website for information on preparing your house before storms strike and how to stay safe during a storm.
You may also monitor hurricane updates and alerts on the National Hurricane Center's Hurricanes.gov website.
At the briefing, Rosencrans stated, "Now is the moment to be attentive about preparedness plans and potential actions." "Hurricanes are not only known for their devastating winds, but also for their deadly storm surges and heavy rain, which can result in floods. So regardless of the expected activity, one storm can have disastrous consequences for people and communities."
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