AUSTIN (KXAN) — The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season kicked off Tuesday — at least officially. Meteorologists know that the 2021 hurricane season really started 10 days early with the formation of Tropical Storm Ana. Ana formed on May 22 but burned out in the Atlantic and never significantly threatened any countries.
Texans should use this time ahead of any storms to get prepared. Did you know that flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect? It’s also a good time to check on your roof, problematic trees, or other dangerous things on your property.
2020 broke records with storms targeting Texas
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.
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.”
Could the 2021 Hurricane Season be just as bad?
2020’s record year begs the question — will this year be a repeat? Or, can we expect even worse?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last month that it expects an “above average” Atlantic hurricane season with 13-20 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes and 3-5 major hurricanes.
This is similar to NOAA’s prediction in 2020, but last year blew past all predictions. NOAA predicted 13-19 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes. We ended up with 30 named storms, 14 hurricanes and 7 major hurricanes.
According to NOAA, 2020 was the fifth consecutive Atlantic hurricane season featuring above-normal activity, making 18 of the last 26 seasons busier than usual.
“One thing we know from a warmer climate is that a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture,” Dr. Brennan added. “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.”
“We’ve had 14 hurricane landfalls in the U.S. since 2017. We are in an active period overall so people just need to be ready regardless of what that seasonal forecast might say.”
2021 Storm Names
In past years, any storms after those initial 21 would be named after letters in the Greek alphabet. But last year, we saw 30 named storms and dipped so far into the Greek alphabet that starting this year, the World Meteorological Organization said it will release a list of supplemental names to use instead.
2021 Supplemental Storm Names