Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 51° Partly Cloudy
News >  Nation/World

Forecasters: Hurricane season to be busier than first thought

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 4, 2021

Tropical Storm Elsa hits the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida on July 6. On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its outlook for the 2021 Atlantic season.  (HOGP)
Tropical Storm Elsa hits the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida on July 6. On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its outlook for the 2021 Atlantic season. (HOGP)
By Seth Borenstein Associated Press

After a record start, followed by a near-silent July, the Atlantic hurricane season looks to be busier than meteorologists predicted a few months ago.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday updated its outlook for the 2021 Atlantic season, slightly increasing the number of named storms and hurricanes expected in what is predicted to be a busy – but not record-breaking – year.

The agency is now forecasting 15 to 21 named storms instead of the 13 to 20 it predicted in May. Meteorologists also said the number of expected hurricanes is seven to 10, instead of six to 10.

The chance for an above average hurricane season increased from 60% to 65%, with a 15% chance that forecasters will run past the list of 21 storm names. Last year saw a record 30 named storms and forecasters had to use Greek letters by the end of the season.

A reduction in high level cross winds, normal to slightly warmer sea temperatures, increased rains in Africa where seeds of stronger storms start, a possible cooling of the central Pacific and a general period of high storm activity since 1995 are reasons for a busy season, said lead forecaster Matthew Rosencrans.

Colorado State University, which pioneered hurricane seasonal forecasts, last month also increased the number of storms expected in its forecast.

In early July, soon-to-be Hurricane Elsa formed and was the earliest fifth named storm on record, beating a mark set last year.

Elsa also formed in the eastern Caribbean and history shows that years when storms develop in eastern Caribbean in June or July it tends to be a busy season, Rosencrans said.

Hurricane season lasts through the end of November, with its peak running from mid-August to mid-October.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.