The US-based Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)) is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.
Forecasters are predicting a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 30 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.
However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.
For 2021, forecasters predicted a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms, with winds of 39 miles per hour (mph) or higher, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes with winds of 74mph or higher, including three to five major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.
NOAA said it provided these ranges with a 70 percent confidence.
The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30.
“The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimise the economic impacts of storms,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, whose department oversees NOAA.
Last month, NOAA updated the statistics used to determine when hurricane seasons are above-, near-, or below-average relative to the latest climate record.
Based on this update, an average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which seven become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
“Although NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator.
“The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are well-prepared with significant upgrades to our computer models, emerging observation techniques, and the expertise to deliver the life-saving forecasts that we all depend on during this, and every, hurricane season,” he added.
In an effort to continuously enhance hurricane forecasting, NOAA said it made several updates to products and services that will improve hurricane forecasting during the 2021 season.