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Forecasters maintain hurricane season will be stormier than usual

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Waves crash at Watch Hill Park as seas increase from the approach of Hurricane Cristobal in 2014 (File photo by Mark Tatem)

A busy hurricane season is still on the cards, despite a lack of storms near Bermuda so far this summer.

The US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said this week in a mid-season update there remains a 65 per cent chance of an above-normal season with between 15 and 21 named storms.

Of those storms, between seven and ten are expected to reach hurricane strength and three to five could become major hurricanes with winds exceeding 111mph.

Those figures include the five named storms already recorded this year.

The estimates are slightly higher than NOAA’s pre-season forecast, which estimated 13 to 20 named storms and six to ten hurricanes.

Rick Spinrad, NOAA administrator, said: “After a record-setting start, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead.”

NOAA said that sea surface water temperatures are not expected to be as high as they were in 2020, providing less fuel for storms than last year’s record-breaking season.

However forecasters expect less vertical wind shear and a strong west Africa monsoon period - both factors which can encourage hurricane development.

At the same time, the Atlantic is in the midst of a multi-decadal warm phase, which has favoured active busy seasons since 1995.

Louis Uccellini, director of the US National Weather Service, said: “Now is the time for families and communities to ensure their preparations are in place.

“These storms can be devastating, so be prepared for all possible outcomes by staying tuned to the forecast and following safety information and possible evacuation notifications issued by emergency officials.”

While this season is expected to be less active than 2020, this season has been the fastest to record five storms.

There were no active storms in the Atlantic yesterday, but NOAA was monitoring two areas for potential development.

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Published August 06, 2021 at 8:07 am (Updated August 06, 2021 at 8:07 am)

Forecasters maintain hurricane season will be stormier than usual

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