The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Forecast Center predicted 14- to 21-named hurricanes, with six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes – Type 3 strong or greater.
The CSU forecast called for 19 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major storms.
Of course it is not possible to know how many of those storms will cross the U.S. coast, or where the biggest storms will form.
However, during the announcement, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrod acknowledged that the current hurricane cycle for the Atlantic is a busy one.
“If you go back two years, the 2020 hurricane season broke records throughout, and with 30 named storms it was a very active season,” Spinrod said.
“Hurricane 2021 is the third most active year on record for storm names, with 21 named hurricanes from the Appalachian Mountains to New England causing $ 78.5 billion in damage.”
What is the reason for the above average seasons
There are many contributing factors to the “busy” hurricane season. “We are in an active period,” Spinrod said. “There are certain substances that drive the intensity and frequency of hurricanes.”
Unlike El Nino, La Nina provides favorable conditions for hurricanes.
Hurricane seasons under El Nino conditions are known for high-level wind patterns across the Caribbean, which tear them apart when trying to form hurricanes and make the seasons less active.
Another reason for the above natural forecast is the so-called “Gulf Loop Current”. The stream is “a warm Caribbean river 600 feet deep that travels in the Gulf between the Cancun, Mexico and western Cuba,” said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.
This loop current now flows farther north, forcing warmer waters at deeper levels of the ocean to move closer to coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico. “The hot water is very deep and has unlimited amount of hot water for the hurricane to intensify,” Myers said.
Forecasters compare the level of the loop current to the record-breaking season of 2005 – when Hurricane Katrina and Rita both caused landslides.
“Yes, the loop current looks like 2005,” said Matthew Rosencross, NOAA’s leading hurricane season outlook forecaster. “But it depends on whether a storm is actually moving over that loop current and predicting the specific trajectory of storms is not something we can do beyond a week,” Rosengrass added.
Years of recurring record
During the 2021 hurricane season, eight hurricanes crossed the coast of the U.S. Gulf and joined six Gulf by 2020.
“Hurricane Ida spread across nine states, proving that anyone can be in the direct course of a hurricane and be at risk from the remnants of a storm system,” said FEMA Administrator Dean Chriswell. “It’s important that everyone understands their risk.”