The month of June is fast approaching, and that means we are entering this year’s hurricane season for New England and the East Coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a press release on May 20th outlining everything we need to know about the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Be sure to read NOAA’s forecast on their website, and we’ve also summarized some key take-aways below:

  • This year’s hurricane season will most likely be above-normal, which was the case last year. NOAA predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season for 2021. What’s above-normal? A likely range of 13 to 20 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could develop into hurricanes. 3 to 5 of these could become major hurricanes (categories 3, 4, or 5 with winds of 111mph or higher). NOAA’s prediction is with 70% confidence.
  • Even though an above-average season is predicted, NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year. However, NOAA acting administrator Ben Friedman cautions, “it only takes one storm to devastate a community.”
  • NOAA has upgraded many of their forecasting tools and services for 2021. Read more about these updates on their website.
A summary infographic showing hurricane season probability and numbers of named storms predicted from NOAA’s 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook. (NOAA)

Read the full NOAA forecast to learn all of the details behind this year’s hurricane season. With these points in mind, we’d like to echo the advice from FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell who says, “With hurricane season starting on June 1, now is the time to get ready and advance disaster resilience in our communities.” FEMA provides many helpful resources on their site, including tips for preparing for storms, how to stay safe during storms, and returning home after storms.

And finally, learn more about the science behind hurricanes by watching COSTEP MA’s webinar from last year with Matthew Belk, a Lead Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Boston, regarding the 2020 Atlantic season. Ever wonder what the difference is between a Nor’Easter and a hurricane? Is Massachusetts really at risk for impacts from hurricanes? Learn those answers and more: