The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its 2021 Atlantic hurricane seasonal forecast on Wednesday, acknowledging a slight increase in anticipated severe storms for the rest of the season.
The U.S. government agency is now forecasting a 65% chance of an "above-average" season, with a 70% probability of 15-21 named storms. It predicts seven to 10 will become hurricanes, with three to five as major hurricanes of Category 3, 4, or 5 strength, according to a press release on Wednesday.
Five named storms have already formed this season, including the earliest fifth-named storm on record for the Atlantic basin, which was Hurricane Elsa at the start of July. The NOAA previously reported a 60% chance of above-normal conditions last month.
“After a record-setting start, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad.
The updated forecast is based on conditions observed throughout the North Atlantic Ocean basin, including sea surface temperatures, upper-level winds, rainfall in West Africa, and the potential for another La Niña event in the tropical Pacific.
Although there has been a dearth of activity in recent weeks, NOAA meteorologist Matthew Rosecrans contended it is not likely to remain that way, saying, "Forecasters do anticipate that a busy hurricane season lies ahead."
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: NOAA forecasts 'above-average' Atlantic hurricane season in 2021 update