U.S. Likely to Experience Above-Average Hurricane Season in 2021

Following an extremely active 2020 hurricane season, the U.S. is likely to experience an "above-average" hurricane season in 2021, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.)

"NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season," NOAA wrote in a news release on Thursday.

According to the release, NOAA hurricane forecasters are predicting a 60 percent chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, a 30 percent chance of a "near-normal" season and a 10 percent chance of a "below-normal" season.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is predicting that there will be 13 to 20 named storms, which have wind speeds of 39 mph or higher, in 2021. Among the 13 to 20 named storms, NOAA predicts that six to 10 could become hurricanes, with wind speeds of 74 mph or higher.

According to NOAA, three to five of the hurricanes are expected to be a category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher. The range of expected storms is forecasted with a 70 percent confidence level, according to the NOAA.

"Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring," Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in the release. "The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms."

Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in the release: "Predicted warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon will likely be factors in this year's overall activity."

The announcement by NOAA on Thursday comes after the U.S. experienced a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season in 2020.

Hurricane
Following an extremely active 2020 hurricane season, the U.S. is likely to experience an "above-average" hurricane season in 2021, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Above, in this NASA handout image taken by Astronaut Ricky Arnold, Hurricane Florence gains strength in the Atlantic Ocean as it moves west, seen from the International Space Station on September 10, 2018. NASA/Getty

According to the NOAA, there were 30 named storms and 12 landfalling storms in the U.S. last year. The 30 named storms were the most ever recorded, two more than in 2005, which included Hurricane Katrina.

Despite NOAA predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season in 2021, forecasters are not anticipating the "historic level of storm activity seen in 2020."

"Although NOAA scientists don't expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community," Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator, said in the release.

"The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are well-prepared with significant upgrades to our computer models, emerging observation techniques, and the expertise to deliver the life-saving forecasts that we all depend on during this, and every, hurricane season."

Newsweek was directed to the news release after reaching out to NOAA for comment.