TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Colorado State University has updated its long-term season forecast for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season and now calls for more named storms this year.
The forecast is initially issued in April every year. This year’s initial forecast predicted 17 named storms with eight reaching hurricane strength, including four reaching major Category 3 hurricane status or higher.
At the beginning of the hurricane season, which officially begins June 1, CSU increased its forecast for the number of named storms to 18, but held the prior forecast of eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes.
Forecasters with CSU increased the forecast once again on July 8, now increasing the numbers to 20 predicted named storms with nine of them reaching hurricane status. The updated forecast does, however, maintain that only four of those hurricanes will reach Category 3 strength or above.
For comparison, NOAA predicts 13-20 named storms. The NOAA forecast calls for six to 10 of those storms reaching hurricane strength and three to five of those growing to Category 3 status or higher.
Elsa is the only storm to have reached hurricane status so far this season. We have had no major hurricanes so far for the 2021 hurricane season.