Hurricane 2021 Predictions

Hurricane 2021 Predictions

Tropical Storm Outlook and Forecast

Jared, the Generator Expert
Generator Expert

HurricaneBelieve it or not, hurricane season is just around the corner. In any given calendar year, the tropical storm season runs from approximately June 1 through November 30 in the Atlantic Ocean, Eastern U.S., and the Caribbean.

Now is the time to make preparations for the 2020 season. When it comes to a hurricane, don't "wing it." The flooding rains, behemoth storm surges, and powerful winds can surprise even the most experienced hurricane veteran. 

Storms are unpredictable, be sure to follow our severe weather updates for up-to-date alerts from the nation's top weather and news outlets, or scroll to the bottom of this article for a live feed. 


Last Year's Hurricane Season in Review

First, let's review what transpired last year. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season had the most named storms on record and was, by all accounts, above-average in terms of activity. A total of 30 named storms were observed, including 12 that made landfall.

Hurricane Laura was the most significant storm from a landfall perspective. The Category 4 hurricane slammed southwest Louisiana in late August, 2020. It killed at least 42 people in the U.S. and caused around $19 billion in damage. 

The busy hurricane season was compounded by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which threatened recovery efforts by sidelining critical personnel. Read a full recap of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season.


Hurricane Forecast for 2021

[palm trees]UPDATED 7/08/2021: The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season is expected to be above normal in terms of activity. Based on water temperatures, wind conditions, and past data, experts predict 20 named tropical storms, 9 of which will be hurricanes and 4 of which will be major hurricanes.

A total of 40 days of hurricane activity are predicted over the course of the season, 9 of which will be major hurricane days. Overall, there is a 68 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will strike somewhere along the continental U.S. coastline. Read the full scientific forecast.


How Hurricanes Form

Atlantic hurricanes form based on a combination of warm ocean temperatures in the tropics and westward winds blowing from Africa.

  1. Westward winds cause the warm tropical water (80F) to evaporate into the atmosphere, creating clouds and thunderstorms.
  2. The low pressure area caused by the rising warm air draws surrounding air, which in turn becomes warm and evaporates up.
  3. This cycle of air movement continues and builds into a powerful tropical storm system as long as there is warm surface air to feed it. If the storm system hits land or enters cooler waters, it will eventually lose steam and dissipate.

Hurricane Severity

A tropical storm system moves through several stages in its development. The following chart outlines the different stages of severity from least damaging to most damaging.

SeverityWind Speed (mph)Storm Surge (ft)
Tropical Storm39-730-3
Category 174-954-5
Category 296-1106-8
Category 3111-1299-12
Category 4130-15613-18
Category 5157+19+


The Bottom Line

Hurricane forecasts that take into account real-world conditions and past patterns can be a generally reliable guide in predicting the upcoming season. Still, it's never an exact science and anything can happen. Stay tuned for forecast updates, and remember to prepare for the storm by stocking up supplies and getting the best electric backup generator.

 NEXT: Shop Storm Prep and Cleanup


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Jared, the Generator Expert
Generator Expert
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