(KXAN) — The Atlantic Hurricane season starts June 1st and last’s all the way through the month of November. Tropical activity climatology peaks during the month of September.
As the 2021 season comes to an end, we have officially exhausted all of the names this Atlantic Hurricane season from Ana all the way to Wanda.
This is the third time we’ve done this. The first time was 2005 and 2020 was the second year. Last year’s hyper-active season was a year of shattered records. We had a total of 31 named storms, 11 U.S. landfalls and over $51 billion in damage. This year we had 10 fewer named storms and luckily didn’t have to tap into our alternate list of Tropical names.
With that said, the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season still surpassed the initial hurricane outlook forecast.
This was the sixth consecutive season of above average activity. The updated average named storms for each year is 14. This year we had 21 named storms. Of those systems, seven were hurricanes and of the seven hurricanes four of them were considered major (Category 3 or higher).
NOTABLE FACTS FROM THIS SEASON
- 1 of the 2 U.S. landfalling storms was Hurricane Nicholas (Cat 1) which made landfall in Texas
- 4 major hurricanes rapidly intensified: Elsa, Grace, Ida, Sam (Rapid intensification is defined as a wind speed increase of at least 35mph in less than 24 hours)
- Larry went from long-lived hurricane to blizzard in Greenland dropping feet of snow
- Ida incredibly makes landfall 16 years to the day behind Katrina. Ida ranks as most devastating this season. Catastrophic damage from Louisiana up through the Northeast. ($95 billion estimated impact; 82 storm total deaths) Here is a recap as Chief Meteorologist David Yeomans was live in Louisiana as Ida made landfall and the recovery efforts there after
- Grace slowed recovery efforts from big Haiti earthquake and also made 2 landfalls
- Fred, Mindy & Elsa all made landfall near Florida Panhandle
- After Nicholas, the following named storms luckily remained fish storms (not making any landfalls)
In a statement wrapping up the hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, in part: “Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory successfully deployed five new extreme weather Saildrones to collect data at the ocean and atmosphere interface in the Caribbean and western tropical Atlantic. One uncrewed Saildrone captured the first ever video and measurements at the surface of the ocean during a major hurricane, withstanding 125-mph winds and 50-foot waves during Hurricane Sam. This data combined with data from other Saildrones, ocean gliders and aircraft-released sensors is helping NOAA to better represent the conditions that drive hurricanes within forecast models.”