CSU forecasters predict 17 storms in a busy season

| 09/04/2021 | 14 Comments
Cayman News Service
Water in George Town as Hurricane Delta passes south of the Cayman Islands in 2020

(CNS): The preliminary forecast by the experts at Colorado State University for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season predicts a busy one, with 17 named storms leading to eight hurricanes and at least four major hurricanes. Based on information obtained through March 2021, the experts from CSU predict “activity above the 1981–2010 average”, which is described as a conservative estimate that will be updated with greater accuracy closer to the start of the season.

“At this point, there is a relatively good chance that the tropical Pacific will revert to neutral ENSO conditions during this summer, but it seems unlikely that El Niño conditions will occur during this year’s hurricane season. El Niño typically reduces Atlantic hurricane activity through increases in vertical wind shear. The tropical Atlantic currently has near average sea surface temperatures, while most of the subtropical Atlantic is warmer than normal,” the forecasting team stated in the review.

They explained that this early forecast is to “satisfy the curiosity of the general public and to bring attention to the hurricane problem”, but they said it is impossible to precisely predict the season’s activity in early April.

Nevertheless, based on four decades of experience and data, the hurricane forecasters said the analysis of a variety of different atmosphere and ocean measurements through March which are known to have long-period statistical relationships with the upcoming season’s Atlantic tropical cyclone activity, along with output from dynamical models, indicate that 2021 should have above-normal activity.

“The big question marks with this season’s predictions revolve around what phase ENSO will be, as well as what the configuration of (sea surface temperatures) will look like in the Atlantic Ocean during the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season,” the scientists added.

2020 was the busiest hurricane season on record, with 30 named storms, but in the 2020 April prediction CSU had called for just 16 named storms. But despite the huge number of storms, Cayman remained largely unscathed during the season, with a just a few brushes with storms that moved on to cause havoc elsewhere. Hurricane Delta went on to become a category 4 storm as it slammed into Mexico and Louisiana, but had passed Cayman as a tropical storm inflicting flooding and minor damage.

Seasonal updates will also be issued on 3 June, 8 July and 5 August. The team will also be issuing two-week forecasts for Atlantic tropical hurricane activity during the climatological peak of the season from August to October. A verification and discussion of all 2021 forecasts will be issued in late November 2021, all of which will be available on the CSU climate research website.


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Category: Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hasn’t temperature been higher than usual for this time of year, hardly a day below 80s and no cool breezes, what happened to the Christmas breezes….

  2. Time nearly up says:

    We can’t prevent intensifying storms due to a warming ocean but we can stop doing stupid things like electing politicians who rubber stamp foolishly constructed concrete monstrosities, built on ironshore with pathetically small setbacks to be sold to millionaires.

    We can stop electing politicians who let developers tear out mangroves and rip up turtle grass which impacts our reefs and our fish stock and damages our marine eco system, our most precious resource, and create a clean air act to curb polluting emissions.

    We can invest in green energy and solar power and use environmentally friendly construction materials to build robust dwellings for Caymanian families away from the coast.

    We can declare a national emergency to fight Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease threatens reduce our reefs to barren rubble and deprive us of our major storm protection.

    We can vote smart or vote like fools. Time is running out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    we had some close shaves last year..so we should be in the clear for the next 5 years.

  4. Mangrove Racist says:

    Yes our dear leaders and their hocus pocus climate denialism and destruction of our natural coastline protection better hope these predictions are not accurate.Their little deficit budget grand plan will be in for a rude awakening ! cement barriers and structures increase the flow and funneling of water and wind force. Num nuts Alden and king of construction Joey just don’t get it

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m predicting the lottery numbers

  6. Anonymous says:

    Stats are in…despite COVID-19 economic and travel impediments last year, 2020 still broke all-time atmospheric CO2 and CH4 level records, and ocean sargassum is already building back to 2018 levels. Coming soon to a beach near you.

    https://optics.marine.usf.edu/projects/SaWS/pdf/Sargassum_outlook_2021_bulletin03_USF.pdf

  7. Anonymous says:

    They have been saying this since Hurricane Ivan.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course, this is because of global warming and will continue to get more intense hurricanes more frequently every year. We can’t ignore all the devastating hurricanes which have hit land since 2004, not least Paloma which devastated the Sister Islands – Grand Cayman is well overdue the next big one and has far fewer natural resources to protect our souls than in 2004 due to the greed and ignorance of those charged with legislation and conflicted planning decision makers.

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