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Brace for busier than average hurricane season

A building on Blue Hole Hill in the wake of Hurricane Humberto (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

More meteorologists have warned the next hurricane season could be busier than average – although not predicted to match the record-breaking 2020 season.

The Weather Company and North Carolina State University have said that warm surface waters and historical records suggested the season – to begin at the start of June – will feature an above-average number of storms.

The Weather Company forecast, released on April 15, estimated that the Atlantic would see 18 named storms, including eight hurricanes.

But Todd Crawford, the chief meteorologist at the Weather Company, said: “While there is upside to the season, we expect nothing approaching last year's activity.”

A total of three hurricanes are expected to become major and hit at least Category 3 strength.

The average season over the past three decades has seen 14 named storms, seven of them hurricanes, three of which reached Category 3 strength.

The forecast latest forecasts are above the modern average – but they pale in comparison to 2020’s “hyperactive” season which had 30 named storms and 14 hurricanes, six of them major.

The Weather Company report said that much of the Atlantic – including the waters near Bermuda – is warmer than average, but cooler than they were in 2020.

Climate models suggested that the warmer waters will persist into the hurricane season.

Dr Crawford said high pressure near Greenland could also bring warmer water into the tropics over the season.

The NCSU forecast, also released last month, estimated between 15 and 18 named storms in the Atlantic this year.

The forecast estimated that between seven and nine of the storms would reach hurricane strength and two or three could become major hurricanes of at least Category 3 strength.

The forecasts from NCSU and the Weather Company were in line with other preseason reports, all of which have predicted an above-average season.

Colorado State University predicted 17 storms, including eight hurricanes, four of which could become major hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Risk forecast the same number of storms and hurricanes, but estimated that only three would reach Category 3.

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Published May 04, 2021 at 8:16 am (Updated May 04, 2021 at 8:16 am)

Brace for busier than average hurricane season

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