When it comes to the safety of our family and homes against an upcoming hurricane season, every homeowner wishes they could see into the future to know what they’re up against. Luckily, thanks to the hurricane researchers at Colorado State University, we’re provided their weather predictions for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season -- no time machine necessary. 

Storm season is here and with an influx of major storm events across the country, we can anticipate an eventful hurricane season for Atlantic and Florida homeowners. The weather researchers of CSU  have predicted a more active hurricane season in 2021, due to the weakened presence of El Nino. Usually, El Nino suppresses hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin. However, due to average temperatures in the tropical Atlantic sea surface being paired with some warmer-than-usual sea surface temperatures of the subtropical Atlantic, CSU doesn’t expect El Nino to carry westerly winds across the Caribbean to the tropical Atlantic as usual. This shift in El Nino points to a higher potential storm risk in Florida, so we’re going to go over what to expect and how to prepare yourself against this unusually active 2021 storm season.

How many storms?

While forecasts are not certain, we are able to see that this year is expected to be particularly above-average in terms of weather events. The researchers at Colorado State have forecasted 17 named hurricanes (a substantial climb from the average 12.1 for 1981-2010). Along with this, we can expect 80 forecasted storm days, another substantial increase from the prior average of 59.4. Out of the 17 predicted storms, the researchers involved in this forecast predict at least eight to become hurricanes and four to become major, high-wind hurricanes. Of course, nothing is set in stone, so for homeowners to stay up to date on storm season the CSU hurricane research team will update forecast predictions on June 3rd, July 8th, and August 5th on their website

How do we know this?

The team at CSU used 40 years of historical hurricane data, measuring the surface temperatures of the Atlantic, pressure levels, vertical wind shear levels (the change in wind direction and speed with height in the atmosphere), El Niño (warming of waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific), and other factors to come to this conclusion.  In simpler terms, El Nino can’t carry the vertical winds from the Pacific that are crucial for stopping these trade winds in the Atlantic, so the wind continues to turn and grow into the potentially dangerous storms we know as hurricanes. The CSU team predicts that this upcoming hurricane activity will reach about 140% of the average season. While at first glance this prediction is shocking, remember that 2020’s hurricane activity was approximately 170% of the average season. Colorado State University has been releasing forecasts for hurricane season for 38 years, and their data can help coastal residents know to properly prepare. While we do know this year’s predictions, these statistics are merely best estimates, not an exact science. 

What does this mean for Florida Homeowners?

Anticipating a busy storm season this year, we suggest homeowners are sure to prepare their homes for the storm season now more than ever. We are proud to offer Storm-Ready impact windows for added security. We also recommend checking out our Hurricane Preparedness Guide, for extra tips on how to prepare your family and home for a hurricane.