Story at a glance
- NOAA predicts there could be 15 to 21 named storms, an increase from the 13 to 20 named storms forecast in May.
- That includes up to 10 hurricanes.
- The estimate includes the five named storms that have already formed this season so far.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season after a record start.
The agency released a mid-season update for the Atlantic hurricane season Wednesday predicting there could be 15 to 21 named storms, an increase from the 13 to 20 named storms forecast in May.
That includes seven to 10 hurricanes, with three to five expected to be Category 3 or stronger, packing wind speeds of 111 mph or higher.
The estimate includes the five named storms that have already formed this season so far. In early July, Hurricane Elsa broke the record for the earliest fifth named storm.
“After a record-setting start, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead,” Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator, said in a statement.
The federal agency said there’s a 65 percent chance of an above-average hurricane season and a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season.
“A Mix of competing oceanic and atmospheric conditions generally favor above-average activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, including the potential return of La Nina in the months ahead,” Matthew Rosecrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said.
The 2020 hurricane season saw a record 30 named storms. The season officially begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
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