US government meteorologists forecast a hurricane season in the Atlantic that will break activity records for the seventh consecutive year.
The National Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, for its acronym in English) forecast on Tuesday that the boreal summer in the Atlantic will produce between 14 and 21 named storms, of which between 6 and 10 will become hurricanes and between 3 and 6 will be Category 3 hurricanes at least, with winds of more than 176 kilometers per hour (110 miles per hour).
Even with normal values changing to reflect more active storm seasons in recent decades, these predictions are above the 30-year average of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three Category 3 or greater hurricanes.
In the past two years, the National Hurricane Center has run out of names for Atlantic storms, recording 30 named storms in 2020 and 21 last year. More Category 4 and 5 hurricanes have made landfall in the United States in the past five years than in the previous 50 years combined.
This hurricane season “is going to be similar to last year, and considering it only takes one bad storm to drastically affect your life, if you don’t plan around it, you’re planning to fail,” he said on Tuesday. NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad told The Associated Press.
According to Matthew Rosencrans, chief forecaster for the hurricane season at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, all weather factors point to an intense season.
He highlighted a multi-decade trend of increased Atlantic storms, an active monsoon season in West Africa, La Niña — the natural and occasional cooling of parts of the equatorial Pacific that modifies climate around the world — and warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures, something scientists say is caused by climate change.