Tracking the Tropics: What to expect from 2021 Atlantic hurricane season

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — June 1 marks the official start of the hurricane season, and experts are predicting another year of above-average tropical activity in the Atlantic basin.

Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced its prediction, giving a 60% chance of an above-normal season. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center predicted 13 to 20 named storms in 2021, including six to 10 hurricanes – three of them major hurricanes, reaching category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Forecasters with Colorado State University also predicted above-normal activity. The CSU forecast predicted 17 named storms in 2021 with eight hurricanes – four of them major hurricanes.

For comparison, the average number of named storms a year from 1981 through 2010 is 12.1 while the average number of hurricanes is 6.4.

Thankfully, as of Tuesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center does not expect any tropical cyclones within the next five days.

The NHC has, however, already crossed one named storm off the list for 2021. The first named storm of the season, Subtropical Storm Ana, formed in late May. It briefly became a tropical storm before weakening to a tropical depression later the same day. No watches or warnings were issued for the storm and it posted no threat to land.


Tracking the Tropics kicked off its third season on Tuesday to bring viewers across the country the latest updates to keep them safe and informed throughout hurricane season. We will stream every Wednesday during hurricane season, starting June 9, at 2 p.m. ET with some of the nation’s top meteorologists from across the country and will have additional coverage of any named storms that develop in the Atlantic basin.

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