By Anita Byer, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its 2021 hurricane season outlook and is now predicting more named storms than previously forecast. This is significant because the 2021 season is already breaking records—Hurricane Elsa became the earliest 5th named storm ever recorded. It’s also concerning because tropical activity spikes from mid-August through mid-October. According to NOAA, “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 initially predicted that the likelihood of an above-normal 2021 hurricane season was 60 percent. But now, the likelihood of an above-normal season is 65 percent. The number of named storms and hurricanes is higher now too. Before hurricane season began, NOAA forecast 13-20 named storms and 6-10 hurricanes. While the initial forecast of 3-5 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher) remains unchanged, forecasters at NOAA are now expecting:
- 15-21 Named Storms (winds of 39 mph or higher)
- 7-10 Hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher)
NOAA forecasters believe that oceanic and atmospheric conditions will generally favor above-average activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season. For example, reduced vertical wind shear and an enhanced west Africa monsoon help create conditions that can increase seasonal hurricane activity. Unfortunately, these favorable conditions increase the likelihood of damaging wind, rain, flooding, storm surge, loss of property and loss of life. According to the Director of the National Weather Service, “now is the time for families and communities to ensure their preparations are in place.” We couldn’t agree more.
NOAA’s updated forecast should provide all the motivation needed to remain alert, prepared and ready to act if your home or business are in the path of a storm. Remember, it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for you. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Please contact us if you would like more information about protecting your personal and business property during the 2021 Hurricane Season.