Eye on the Tropics

Atlantic hurricane season shows no signs of slowing down, NOAA says in mid-season update

ORLANDO, Fla. — The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season shows no signs of slowing down, according to the annual mid-season update issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.

Wednesday’s update continues to predict an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.

READ: How many times has Walt Disney World had to close for a hurricane?

NOAA said the latest outlook reflects that the number of expected named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater) is 15-21, including 7-10 hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), of which 3-5 could become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 with winds 111 mph or greater).

The updated outlook includes the five named storms that have formed so far, with Hurricane Elsa becoming the earliest fifth named storm on record.

See: Tropical system terms explained

“After a record-setting start, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead,” said NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad in a statement. “NOAA will continue to provide the science and services that are foundational to keeping communities prepared for any threatening storm.”

NOAA scientists predict that the likelihood of an above-normal 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is 65%. There is a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

READ: What do you do with sandbags after a storm?

Channel 9 meteorologist Brian Shields said just because a certain number of storms are predicted, doesn’t mean that they all will hit land.

“We don’t know where things will end up. We track and we see,” he said. “Hopefully most stay away from land.”

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.