U.S. Raises Average Number of Named Storms for Atlantic Hurricane Season

April 12, 2021

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has changed the number of storms that constitute an average Atlantic hurricane season, the agency said in a statement on Friday.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is using 1991-2020 as the 30-year period-of-record to determine the average number of storms in a hurricane season, the agency said.


Researchers Predict Above-Average Hurricane Season This Year

Previously, NOAA’s period-of-record was 1981-2010, for which the average number of named storms is 12, the average number of hurricanes is six, and the average of major hurricanes — packing winds of at least 111 miles per hour (178.6 kph) — is three.

The average number of named storms in the new 30-year period is 14, with seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

“This update allows our meteorologists to make forecasts for the hurricane season with the most relevant climate statistics taken into consideration,” said Michael Farrar, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

Even with the increased number of storms, the latest forecasts for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1, call for an above-average season.

On Thursday, Colorado State University forecasters said they expect 17 named storms and eight hurricanes, four of which will be major, in the 2021 season.

In making long-term hurricane forecasts, meteorologists compare conditions for the upcoming season with those of previous years.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; editing by Leslie Adler)