Now that we're out of November, the hurricane season has come to a close. Below is a list of fast facts about hurricanes as well as the predictions that were made about each hurricane that occurred during this season.
The hurricane season starts on the 1st of June and runs until November 30th. The areas where they survey and predict are the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
The National Weather Service defines the term hurricane as " a tropical cyclone that contains winds of 74 mph (or 64 knots) or higher."
The hurricanes are all rated based on the intensity of those sustained winds that are outlined in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. It rates hurricanes from 1-5 and that number can serve as an estimate to the potential property damage the hurricane will cause.
Anything that's 3 or higher on that scale is considered to be a major hurricane.
Considering the number of hurricanes we're faced with, it's important to be prepared. As such, keeping an eye on hurricane watches will be good as they indicate the possibility of where hurricanes will hit and its condition within 48 hours.
When hurricane warnings are issued, it means the hurricane has sustained winds of at least 74 mph and are expected in the next 36 hours.
On April 8, 2021, the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project team made a prediction that we would have an above-average Atlantic hurricane season. That team forecasted 17 named storms which included eight hurricanes.
On May 20th, 2021, The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made a forecast that we had a 60% chance for a higher than normal season. It predicted a 70% chance of having 13 to 20 named storms with six to 10 of them developing into hurricanes. That includes three to five of those hurricanes being major ones.
On August 4th, 2021, NOAA then doubles down on its seasonal prediction it made in May, announcing that the forecaster had the confidence that the probability of a higher than usual hurricane season rose from the 60% predicted to 65%. It was further predicted that we'd have a 10% chance of a below-normal season and 25% of it being an average hurricane season.
The agency also predicted 15 to 21 named storms and seven to 10 of those being hurricanes, of which three to five of them would be major ones.
Atlantic Storm Names
One last fact that you might want to know is if you ever thought about where the hurricane names come from well they have a whole system devoted to it. Hurricane names are generated from a rotation of six lists that are maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Storm names are only ever retired when we're dealing with storms that are either deadly or costly.
Also if you recall certain storms being named after the Greek alphabet and now it's suddenly not there this year well there is a reason. On March 17th, 2021, the WMO announced that the Greek alphabet isn't going to be used any longer. Instead, there is a supplemental list of names that it'll be turning to instead of that.