(WMBB)— The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provided an update to their annual Atlantic hurricane season outlook this morning.
The report, which was first issued May 20 of this year, slightly increased chances for above-average tropical development for the rest of the 2021 hurricane season.
This forecast detailed that scientists now expect at least 15 to 21 named storms this year, as well as a 65 percent chance that tropical development will be above average.
This is a 5 percent increase from the previous report which called for 13 to 20 named storms and a 60 percent chance of above-average tropical development throughout the 2021 season.
While the increase is minor, meteorologists believe that as we approach the peak of hurricane season in September, conditions such as reduced vertical wind shear throughout the Caribbean and Atlantic, an enhanced West African monsoon, and a multi-decadal warm phase will promote above-average activity.
While those factors will be more conducive for tropical development this season, some factors still lag. For example, NOAA expects sea surface temperatures to be cooler than that of last year, which could inhibit the maturing of some tropical systems.
NOAA Hurricane Season Outlook Lead, Matthew Rosencrans said it was important for the administration to provide updates to the forecast.
“While the tropics have been relatively slow for the past few weeks, NOAA forecasters do anticipate that a busy hurricane season remains ahead,” Rosencrans said. “It only takes one storm to have catastrophic impacts on lives and communities.”
This update to the 2021 hurricane forecast encompasses the rest of the season, which ends November 30.