Another active hurricane season is scheduled for 2021
The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be another busy season. Last year was the most active season on record with 30 named storms. The main reason for last year’s active season was La Nina who got stronger throughout the season. La Niña is the cooling waters of the Pacific near the equator off South America. Whenever this happens, the vertical wind shear over the Atlantic and the Caribbean is weaker, allowing storms to develop and strengthen without interference from those winds.
Although La Niña is weaker this year, and could possibly weaken further due to so-called ENSO Neutral conditions (neither cooler nor warmer), windshear in the Atlantic is expected to remain weak. You combine that with warmer than average water temperatures and higher than normal ocean heat content in the Atlantic, you have a recipe for another active, storm-filled season. Other factors that could lead to a more active season are a positive AMO or an Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. AMO in its positive phase (in which it is currently and since the late 90s) means that water temperatures in the Atlantic are warmer than average.
The position of the summit of Bermuda and the Azores is also a factor. This large, sprawling high pressure system directs storms across the Atlantic from Africa to the United States. Depending on its strength and position, it can help bring storms to the United States or transport them safely to the Atlantic. Last year this peak was unusually strong and it protected the Florida peninsula from direct attack. Most of the storms went to the Gulf and affected Louisiana or Texas or moved northeast. There are indications that the Bermuda and Azores summit will not be as strong this year, which could mean Florida could be on the way to those long-tracked storms, or they could curl before they do. they do not reach us. We just don’t have the skills to predict this well in advance.
Either way, you need to prepare. It doesn’t matter if 10 storms are expected or 30. If you’re ready for just one, you’re in great shape. Take the time to review your safety plan with your family so you know what to do in case we have to deal with a storm on the road this season.
DEREK BEASLEY, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST FOX 4