The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday predicted another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, the U.S. scientific agency announced.
“Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season,” the NOAA said.
“However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.”
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active on record and produced 30 named storms. Last November, Central America was hit by hurricanes Eta and Iota, which left at least 200 dead, as well as millions of dollars in economic losses.
This year, the NOAA forecasts 13 to 20 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to five major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5).
An average hurricane season would produce 14 named storms, of which seven become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
“Although NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) is already tracking a low-pressure system located about 650 miles east-northeast of Bermuda that has an 80% chance of cyclone formation within 48 hours.
The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30.