June 1 marks the start of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which lasts five months through the end of November. During this time, we’ll be keeping tabs on the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Above-Normal Season Likely
The Atlantic Hurricane Season averages 14 named storms, with 7 becoming hurricanes, and 3 of those becoming major Category 3 hurricanes. This is from data over the past 30 years.
The 2021 Hurricane Season is not expected to be like the above-average 2020 hurricane season that had a record 30 named storms. However, experts at NOAA predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. This would mean a range of 13 to 20 named storms, with 6 to 10 becoming hurricanes, including 3 to 5 major hurricanes.
Research by Colorado State University also suggests an above-average hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin.
While forecasts like these can help paint a broad picture of what a hurricane season could look like overall, it’s important to keep in mind it only takes one storm to greatly affect a region. Regardless of a forecast, it’s important that those who live in areas prone to tropical cyclone activity - like the Texas Gulf Coast - be prepared when hurricane season rolls around.
Types of Tropical Systems
There are several types of tropical systems, or cyclones, that develop. Meteorologist Sarah Spivey explains below.
2021 Tropical Cyclone Names
Below is a list of names that will be assigned to any organized tropical cyclones that gain a wind speed of greater than 39 mph and become a “named” storm. Note that we’ve already had one named storm before June 1 -- Tropical Storm Ana.