2021 Atlantic Hurricane season to be more active than normal

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HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) – With hurricane season less than two months away, the Colorado State University annual hurricane forecast was released on Thursday.

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Colorado State University has been releasing an annual forecast for the last 38 years.

In the first release of the forecast, Colorado State University has predicted another active season with 17 named storms.

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An average Atlantic Hurricane Season sees 12 named storms with 2020 seeing a record 30 named storms.

The forecast also calls for eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Remember a major hurricane is a category 3 or stronger storm.

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The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season saw 13 hurricanes and 8 major hurricanes.

Taking a deeper dive, the forecast calls for a 69% chance of a major hurricane making landfall this summer somewhere along the United States coastline.

There is also a 44% chance of a major landfall along the Gulf Coast between the Florida Panhandle and Rio Grande Valley.

For the state of Texas, the forecast called for a 75% chance of a named storm within 50 miles of the state. The forecast also called for a 49% chance of a hurricane (Category 1 or 2) and 21% of a major hurricane (Category 3+) impacting the state.

One of the biggest contributors to the above normal forecast is the phase of El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

We are currently in a weak La Niña, and forecasted to approach a more neutral phase. This means neither La Niña nor El Niño. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have a forecast of only a 10% chance of an El Niño, between August and October (peak hurricane season).

Meanwhile, THE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a 46% chance of neutral and 44% chance of La Niña.

If an El Niño were to occur, hurricane activity would be reduced thanks to increased vertical shear.

One big change to hurricane season this year is the removal of Greek Names after the completion of the list of 21 hurricane names.

This season the National Hurricane Center has released a secondary list of 21 names to be used if needed. This change was made in part because Hurricanes Eta and Iota were retired after the devastation they caused in the 2020 season.

The second reason for the change was the similarity of the pronunciation of many Greek letters, which could cause confusion as to which storm you were talking about.

Colorado State University will be releasing updates to their hurricane forecast of June 3, July 8, and again on August 5. Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1. Remember now is the time to make your hurricane kit is up to date.

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