NOAA announced its updated 2021 Atlantic hurricane season outlook Wednesday, which now calls for between 15 to 21 named storms, seven to ten hurricanes, with three to five becoming major hurricane of category 3 or greater.
“After a record-setting start, the Atlantic 2021 hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead,” said Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA administrator.
The totals are up slightly from the agency's initial outlook, which called for 13 to 20 named storms and six to ten hurricanes. The expected number of major hurricanes was unchanged.
The update does include the five named storms that have already formed this season. The last was Hurricane Elsa, the earliest fifth named storm on record.
“A mix of competing oceanic and atmospheric conditions generally favor above-average activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, including the potential return of La Nina in the months ahead,” Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, added.