WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The first forecast of the 2021 hurricane season was released Thursday by researchers at Colorado State University, and it looks like we can expect another above-average year.
Researchers at Colorado State University predict 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin this year.
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Meteorologist Philip Klotzbach said the reason for the above-average forecast included the predicted lack of an El Niño, which tears apart hurricanes, and a warmer than normal subtropical Atlantic Ocean.
Atlantic seasonal #hurricane forecast from @ColoradoStateU calls for above-average season: 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes & 4 major hurricanes. Reasons for above-average forecast include predicted lack of #ElNino and warmer than normal subtropical Atlantichttps://t.co/yMtgWLKlCE pic.twitter.com/vbi1oE9FiG— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) April 8, 2021
Experts said they anticipate an "above-average probability" for major hurricanes making landfall along the U.S. coastline and in the Caribbean.
The forecast released Thursday said there is a 45 percent chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. East Coast, including Florida.
Last year's hurricane season was the most active on record with 30 named storms and six hurricanes hitting the U.S.
Meteorologists have eliminated the use of Greek names, which were used last year.
If there are more than 21 named storms, they have instead come up with a supplemental list of names.
Coastal residents are reminded to prepare the same for every hurricane season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.
"You should always prepare for hurricane season, regardless of how many storms are forecast, because it only takes one to hit and make it an active year for us," First Alert Weather Meteorologist James Wieland said.
The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1.
One of the reasons for the above-average seasonal #hurricane forecast from CSU is due to the likely lack of #ElNino this summer/fall. El Nino generally increases vertical wind shear in the Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes. pic.twitter.com/MBiB8XN9Rg— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) April 8, 2021