MIAMI – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced its initial outlook for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season Thursday afternoon during a virtual media briefing.
Acting NOAA administrator Ben Friedman said NOAA is predicting a 60% chance of an above normal hurricane season this year, and warned people that high winds are not the only concern, as storm surge and flooding have also caused major destruction in past years.
He said there is a 30% chance of a normal hurricane season and a 10% chance of a below normal season.
According to Friedman, NOAA predicts a 70% probability of 13-20 named storms with top winds of at least 39 mph.
He said of these, six to10 will become hurricanes with top winds of at least 74 mph. Three to 5 of those are predicted to become major hurricanes that are deemed a Category 3 or above.
FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell urged people to learn their evacuation route and warned that hurricanes do not only pose a threat to coastal cities.
She said people should start preparing for hurricane season now, making sure their personal records are up to date and that people have hard copies or digital copies of important documents.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Last month, Colorado State University released the first of its hurricane season predictions for the year, also calling for a slightly above-average year with 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 Category 3+ storms.
This comes on the heels of the historic 2020 season, the most active Atlantic hurricane season in history with 30 named storms.
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