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Another active hurricane season is looming, according to NC State researchers

Satellite view of Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic, close to the US coast.
elroce - stock.adobe.com
Satellite view of Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic, close to the US coast.

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season could see up to 18 named storms. According to the latest research from North Carolina State University, that could very well mean another unusually active storm season.

Atmospheric scientists at NC State are predicting 15 to 18 named storms, with seven to nine growing strong enough to become hurricanes. That’s well above the long-term historical storm average, which is 11 in a given Atlantic hurricane season.

According to the university, researchers evaluated a century’s worth of data on hurricane positions and intensity — as well as weather patterns, and sea-surface temperatures.

Last year, NC State scientists predicted 18 to 22 named storms in the Atlantic basin. That record-breaking season ended up churning out 30 — thus exhausting the alphabetical list of tropical storm names for the second time in history.

Scientists at Colorado State University are also predicting an active storm season for 2021. They cite abnormally warm subtropical sea temperatures, in addition to weak La Niña conditions.

The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1, 2021; and runs through November 30, 2021.

Hannah is WHQR's All Things Considered host, and also reports on science, the environment, and climate change. She enjoys loud music, documentaries, and stargazing; and is the proud mother of three cats, a dog, and many, many houseplants. Contact her via email at hbreisinger@whqr.org, or on Twitter @hbreisinger.