2021 Atlantic hurricane outlook: Will this season be a repeat of 2020?

Weather Blog

AUSTIN (KXAN) — 2020’s record-breaking hurricane season brought two storms ashore in Texas and two others close enough to impact the state.

Hanna. Laura. Beta. Delta.

These were four of the 30 named storms last season, 14 hurricanes in total, seven of those Category 3 or stronger.

Close to a dozen tropical systems made landfall in the U.S. last year, affecting millions of Americans.

“2020 was such a remarkable year with almost every inch of coastline from Texas to Maine being affected in some way, shape or form,” Branch Chief of the Hurricane Specialist Unit at the National Hurricane Center Dr. Michael Brennan said. “So many hurricanes, six hurricane landfalling in the United States, it was just a relentless year.”

Which begs the question — will this year be a repeat? Or, can we expect even worse?

The absence of an El Niño and a warming climate isn’t a good sign.

“One thing we know from a warmer climate is that a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. So we are potentially going to see more of these extreme heavy rainfall events, may even see these slow moving storms more often, these sort of stalled systems. And this combination can be deadly,” said Dr. Brennan.

So what do we know? What should we prepare for?

Brennan goes on to say everyone needs to prepare every year for all hazards. Particularly for those of us here in Texas, preparation needs to focus around the threats tropical systems bring once inland, like flooding rain, wind hazards and tornadoes

“We’ve had 14 hurricane landfalls in the US since 2017 – we are in an active period overall so people just need to be ready regardless of what that seasonal forecast might say.”

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