The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends on November 30, 2021. Experts predicted that it would be another active, above average hurricane season. Let’s see how accurate the expert’s predictions were and how it compares to previous seasons.
How Did the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Compare to Expert Predictions?
The Colorado State University (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project, a respected authority on hurricanes predicted an above-average 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. They predicted the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season to have:
- 17 named storms
- 8 hurricanes
- 4 major hurricanes
The expert predictions by the Colorado State University (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project forecasters were fairly accurate. As of November 30, 2021, the Atlantic hurricane season experienced:
- 21 named storms
- 7 hurricanes
- 4 major hurricanes
2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season: Named Storms
There were 21 total named storms in 2021, which was 4 more named storms than the CSU experts predicted. These included: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.
2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season: Hurricanes and Major Hurricanes
Only 7 of the named storms reached hurricane strength, just 1 less than predicted. And four of those hurricanes reached major hurricane status, the exact number the CSU experts predicted. These included: Elsa, Grace, Henri, Ida, Larry, Nicholas, and Sam.
June 2021 Hurricanes
The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season started out early and busy with four major storms forming in June. Elsa was the fourth and last storm in June, and the first of the season to reach hurricane strength. Hurricane Elsa reached category 1 status crossing the Gulf of Mexico, but lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm before making landfall along the Florida panhandle.
August 2021 Hurricanes
In August, Grace was the second hurricane of the season, and the first major hurricane of the season, reaching category 3 strength during it’s 9 day track across the North Atlantic Ocean. Grace first impacted the Leeward Islands and Greater Antilles as a tropical storm before reaching hurricane status heading toward the Yucatán Peninsula. Grace rapidly intensified into a category 3 hurricane with winds reaching 125 mph before making landfall in Veracruz at peak intensity. Hurricane Grace was responsible for a total of 15 people losing their lives.
Another August hurricane, Henri reached category 1 storm status. And as Henri travelled northbound in the Atlantic Ocean, the hurricane missed making landfall along most of the Atlantic coastline until reaching New England.
Arriving at the end of August, Hurricane Ida was the strongest major storm of the season to make landfall, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, reaching category 4 status. Ida made landfall along the Louisiana coast, just south of New Orleans. There were 115 deaths and $65 billion in damage attributed to Hurricane Ida. This earned Hurricane Ida a place on the list of the top ten costliest hurricanes of all time.
September 2021 Hurricanes
Historically, September is typically one of the most active months, and 2021 was no exception. Of the 9 storms recorded in September, the majority (6) only reached tropical storm strength. But 3 went on to gain greater strength, reaching hurricane status. Nicholas was the first hurricane in September to make landfall in Texas as a category 1 hurricane.
Hurricane Larry bypassed making landfall in the United States altogether, gaining strength along the way and growing into a category 3 hurricane. But as Larry headed toward the coast of Canada, the hurricane lost strength, only making landfall in Newfoundland as a category 1 storm.
Sam, the last hurricane of September and the last of the official 2021 hurricane season, was the most powerful of the season. Hurricane Sam reached sustained winds of 155 mph, a category 4 status. Fortunately, Sam never made landfall before dissipating over the Atlantic Ocean.
How Does the 2021 Season Compare to Previous Seasons?
The average number of hurricanes each season (averaged out over 30 years):
- 12 named storms
- 6 hurricanes
- 2 major hurricanes
When comparing the 2021 season to seasonal averages (above), the 2021 season was relatedly active. The 2021 season had 9 more named storms, 1 more hurricane, and two more major hurricanes than the average.
But the previous hurricane season (2020) was just the opposite. The 2020 season blew past predictions, breaking numerous records along the way. So, when compared to the previous hurricane season (2020), the 2021 hurricane season felt relatedly quiet.
Tampa Bay’s Seawall Inspection and Repair Experts, Gibson Marine Construction
Just because Tampa Bay and the surrounding communities were very fortunate this season, not suffering any direct hits by major storms, that doesn’t mean you can forego the annual seawall inspection and/or seawall repair process. There may still be damage, it just may be less visible to the naked eye.
The only way to ensure your seawall is safe and functioning properly is to have it inspected by knowledgeable experts, such as the Florida Certified Contractors at Gibson Marine Construction. Call or fill out the website contact form to schedule a seawall inspection and/or seawall repair services.