The 2021 Atlantic hurricane activity is still expected to be above average, according to a June 3 update released by Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers.
The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team, led by Triple-I non-resident scholar Dr. Phil Klotzbach, predicts 18 named storms during the season (up from 17 in the previous forecast), eight of which are expected to become hurricanes – four of them major (Category 3, 4 or 5).
The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 135 percent of the long-period average.
The 2021 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, follows a record-breaking 2020 season. An average season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
As always, Dr. Klotzbach cautioned coastal residents to take proper precautions as “it only takes one storm near you to make it an active season.”
Subtropical Storm Ana formed early on May 22, northeast of Bermuda, becoming the first named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. The National Hurricane Center upgraded Ana to a tropical storm on the morning of May 23 but it was quickly downgraded to a tropical depression by afternoon.
Ana weakened into a post-tropical cyclone and was expected to dissipate on May 24 as it tracked northeastward into colder Atlantic waters.
This marks the seventh consecutive year in which at least one named storm has formed prior to the start of Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins June 1. Over the past six years, there have been eight preseason named storms, four of which made landfall in the U.S. In 2020, two tropical storms—Arthur and Bertha—formed in May.
“The U.S. experienced a record-setting hurricane season in 2020 and the early forecasts say 2021 is going to be an active one, too,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. “During National Hurricane Preparedness Week, everyone who lives in a hurricane-prone community should take a few moments to ensure you have adequate financial protection for your property and possessions while also taking steps to make your home or business more resilient to the impacts of wind and water. History has proven that virtually every community along the Gulf and East Coasts have faced the wrath of what is a hurricane’s catastrophic damage. And now with even more Americans living in harm’s way, it is even more critical for consumers and communities to take action.”
National Hurricane Preparedness Week starts on Sunday, May 9, and continues through Saturday, May 15. The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.
Review Your Insurance Coverage Make sure you have the right type – and amount – of property insurance. The Triple-I recommends you conduct an annual insurance review of your policy(ies) with your insurance professional.
“You should ask your insurance professional if you have the right amount of insurance coverage to rebuild or repair your home, to replace its contents, and to cover temporary living expenses if your property is uninhabitable,” Kevelighan said. “You should also ask about flood insurance, which is an additional coverage to a standard homeowners and small business insurance policy. Nearly 90 percent of natural disasters involve flooding.”
The best place to start the insurance review process is by reading the declarations page of your policy. This one-page information sheet offers details on how much coverage you have, your deductibles and how a claim will be paid.
Standard homeowners insurance covers the structure of your house for disasters such as hurricanes and windstorms, along with a host of other disasters. It is important to understand the elements that might affect your insurance payout after a hurricane and adjust your policies accordingly.
Protect Your Vehicles Comprehensive auto, which is an optional coverage, protects your vehicle against theft and damage caused by an incident other than a collision, including fire, flood, vandalism, hail, falling rocks or trees, and other hazards. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. drivers opt to purchase comprehensive coverage.
Make Sure Your Possessions are Adequately Protected Imagine the out-of-pocket cost of repurchasing all your furniture, clothing, and other personal possessions after a hurricane. Whether you have homeowners insurance or renters insurance, your policy provides protection against loss or damage due to a hurricane.
Creating an inventory of your belongings and their value will make it easy to see if you are sufficiently insured for either the replacement cost or cash value of the items situated at your residence. When you create a photo or video catalog of your home’s possessions, it will also help expedite the insurance claims process if you sustain damage from a storm.
Make Your Property More Resilient Invest in items that will harden your property against wind damage, such as a wind-rated garage door and storm shutters. The Triple-I also recommends you have your roof inspected annually by a licensed and bonded contractor to make sure it will hold up to high winds and torrential rains.
Preparing a hurricane emergency kit with a minimum two-week supply of essential items such as non-perishable food, drinking water (1 gallon per family per day) and medications for every family member. Also make sure you have adequate supplies and medications for your pets.
Creating an evacuation plan well before the first storm warnings are issued.
Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers predict an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2021, citing the likely absence of El Niño as a primary factor. El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form.
The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team, led by Triple-I non-resident scholar Dr. Phil Klotzbach, predicts 17 named storms during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
Of those, the researchers expect eight to become hurricanes and four to reach major hurricane strength (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.
An average season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
The 2021 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, follows a record-breaking 2020 season. The team expects the 2021 hurricane activity to be about 140 percent of the average season. By comparison, 2020’s hurricane activity was about 170 percent of the average season. The 2020 hurricane season had six landfalling continental US hurricanes, including Category 4 Hurricane Laura, which battered southwestern Louisiana.
So far, the 2021 hurricane season is exhibiting characteristics similar to 1996, 2001, 2008, 2011 and 2017. “All of our analog seasons had above-average Atlantic hurricane activity, with 1996 and 2017 being extremely active seasons,” said Klotzbach.
The report also includes the probability of major hurricanes making landfall:
• 69 percent for the entire U.S. coastline (average for the last century is 52 percent) • 45 percent for the U.S. East Coast including the Florida peninsula (average for the last century is 31 percent) • 44 percent for the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle westward to Brownsville (average for the last century is 30 percent) • 58 percent for the Caribbean (average for the last century is 42 percent)
As always, Dr. Klotzbach caution coastal residents to take proper precautions as “it only takes one storm near you to make it an active season.”