This is the time of year when most of us start thinking about the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins June 1st. We anxiously await forecast predictions to find out whether this season’s storm activity will be above-, near-, or below-average. But what’s considered an ‘average’ hurricane season? Hint: This is a trick question.
Once every ten years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updates the data set used to determine whether storm activity in any given hurricane season is above- or below-average. As it turns out, the next ten-year period starts this year. Beginning with the 2021 hurricane season, NOAA will use 1991-2020 as the new 30-year period of record to determine ‘average’ storm activity. The previous Atlantic storm averages were based on the period from 1981 to 2010.
By replacing older data with newer data, the updated averages for the Atlantic hurricane season have GONE UP. As you can see, what we considered ‘above-average’ storm activity for the past ten years will be considered ‘average’ for the next ten years.
1981 – 2010 1991 – 2020
12 Named Storms 14 Named Storms (+2)
6 Hurricanes 7 Hurricanes (+1)
3 Major Hurricanes 3 Major Hurricanes (no change)
The reason it seems like storm activity has been steadily increasing over the years is because storm activity has been steadily increasing over the years. The updated averages reflect a very busy period over the last thirty years. But why? According to NOAA, the increase in the averages may be due, at least in part, to the warming ocean and atmosphere which are influenced by climate change.
Either way, NOAA’s updated hurricane season ‘averages’ highlight a disturbing trend. What was once considered active is now considered average. Hopefully, this new normal will encourage more homeowners and business owners to start preparing for hurricane season sooner than later. Fortunately, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk has a long history of helping clients prepare before the storm and, more importantly, recover after the storm.
Please contact us about protecting your personal and business property during the 2021 Hurricane Season.