Changing America

Forecasters predict another active hurricane season

AccuWeather meteorologists are expecting between 16 and 20 tropical storms this year
This satellite image provided by NASA from the International Space Station shows Hurricane Dorian on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019.  NASA/ AP

Story at a glance

  • AccuWeather forecasters are predicting another abnormally active hurricane season this year.
  • Like last year, forecasters predict that this season will see somewhere between 16 and 20 tropical storms.
  • Out of those storms, between three and five are expected to be fully formed hurricanes that make landfall along the United States coastlines.

AccuWeather forecasters are predicting another active Atlantic hurricane season this year.  

Similar to last year, forecasters expect between 16 and 20 tropical storms to form this hurricane season which begins in June and ends at the end of November.  

Out of those tropical storms, six to eight will most likely turn into full-fledged hurricanes with at least three to five of those hurricanes projected to make landfall, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski told Changing America.  


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In addition, Kottlowski predicts those three to five storms will reach at least Category 3 strength with winds greater than 111 miles per hour.  

Having an average of three and half hurricanes make landfall during a given season is typical, Kottlowski said, but this season meteorologists believe an above average number of storms will make landfall in keeping with a years-long trend.  

“Last year we had eight landfalls on the U.S. coastal area, way above normal, and that was very similar to what we had the year before,” Kottlowski said.  

The last two hurricane seasons have been highly active. Last year, 21 hurricanes were named, making 2021 the third most active hurricane year in history, according to the National Hurricane Center.  

Climate experts have warned that warming waters and rising sea levels stemming from climate change are playing a role in the increasing number of hurricanes each year and in their increasingly destructive nature.  

Hurricanes are one of the costliest natural disasters and the price of the damage caused by the storm has steadily gone up over the years, according to the Yale Climate Connections. In total, damages from weather and climate disasters occurring from 1980 to 2020 in the United States have cost about $1.87 trillion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  

The last few seasons have also been deadly, with 2020’s Hurricane Laura resulting in the deaths of at least 77 people and last year’s  Hurricane Ida killed at least 91 people across nine states many of died when their basement homes flooded.  

“There are a lot of storms that have really stood out and caused phenomenal damage and hardship,” said Kottlowksi. 

Kottlowski urged those living at least 100 miles from a U.S. coastline to prepare for the upcoming season.  

“When you live a little bit further inland you still have to worry about water,” Kottlowski said.  

Powerful hurricanes can dump huge amounts of rainwater on areas away from the coast. And rapid influx of rainwater can easily overburden sewage systems causing streets and buildings to flood, like in New York City the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped over three inches of rain in a single hour inundating streets, subways and basements.  

“We’ve learned the hard way about the fact that when you have that much rainfall you are going to have flooding and people are going to be in harm’s way,” said Kottlowski.  


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