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Coastal Desk

More Hurricanes Is The New Normal, Forecasters Say

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NOAA.gov
NOAA has updated the number of average predicted storms each year, based on data from the past three decades.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is increasing the number of storms predicted each hurricane season based on a new average over the last three decades.

Until this year, meteorologists said 12 named storms and six hurricanes was “normal.” They’re now increasing that to 14 named storms and seven hurricanes for the Atlantic region. The expected average of three major hurricanes remains unchanged, despite the record-breaking number last year.

The change could be attributed to better modeling and prediction, but could also be attributed to a changing climate, NOAA scientists said in a press release. Scientists have found that climate change is causing more intense storms.

“NOAA scientists have evaluated the impacts of climate change on tropical cyclones and determined that it can influence storm intensity,” said Matt Rosencrans, seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

“Further research is needed to better understand and attribute the impacts of anthropogenic forces and natural variability on tropical storm activity,” he added.

NOAA will issue its official forecast for the 2021 hurricane season in late May. The National Hurricane Center has already released its name guide with pronouncers for the season.

Colorado State University forecasters released their predictions this week, saying they expect an increase in storms this season — about 17 named storms and eight hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and local listeners.

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