The 2021 Hurricane Season ends as the third most active on record
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - November 30 marks the official end of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, and this year was the third most active on record and fourth costliest. So let’s take a look back.
The Atlantic hurricane season stretches from May 22 through November 30. Traditionally, hurricane season begins on June 1, but Tropical Storm Ana formed on May 22 and thus making 2021 the seventh consecutive year that a storm formed before the official start of the season. This year we saw 21 named storms, of which 14 strengthened to tropical storms, with seven becoming hurricanes. This year featured four major hurricanes, aka Category 3 or stronger.
Eight storms made landfall this year in the United States. Hurricane Ida was the strongest, making landfall at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, at 11:55 a.m. on August 29 at Category 4 strength with winds at 150 mph. The hurricane claimed the lives of at least 29 people across Louisiana and three in Mississippi, destroying businesses and neighborhoods in its wake and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands. Total damages from Ida are estimated to cost $65.25 billion.
This is the second year in a row that we have gone entirely through the list of names provided by the World Meteorological Society. Last year in 2020, we saw 30 named storms and eventually had to start naming them after letters in the Greek alphabet. It was decided that the Greek alphabet was too confusing, plus we had to return two of the letters last year. So this year, the World Meteorological Society provided a supplementary list of names to use if we went through the original list again. And we almost had to! We used all 21 names from Ana to Wanda this year, stopping just shy of moving on to the first name on the secondary list, Adria.
All in all, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season surpassed expectations. NOAA initially estimated that we would see anywhere from 15-21 named storms this year, and Colorado State University’s hurricane forecast called for 18 named storms, with 8 becoming hurricanes. Both were fairly close to what we ended up seeing, though the total amount ended up being more than either predicted back at the beginning of the season.
Next year’s hurricane season officially kicks off on June 1, 2022.
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