The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season forecast this week with winds expected to be between 17 and 23 miles per hour for a near-normal season that will have 12 to 18 named storms. This includes eight to 12 hurricanes and four to eight are expected to become major hurricanes, those that have sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour. Nine to 13 hurricanes are possible, four to six major. The annual forecast is based on a computer model run at the University of Colorado, which “enables meteorologists to incorporate seasonal trends, seasonal intensity forecasts, and seasonal evacuation plans into the probability for each hurricane.” (The last “near-normal” hurricane season was in 2016 with 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.) There were 19 named storms in 2017, with nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes. NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan said in a statement that even though the Atlantic has not had a hurricane strike Florida for eight years, Floridians should not delay the preparations they have made over the past eight years, “especially as the Atlantic season approaches,” as they do “during every peak hurricane season.”
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