2021 Hurricane season: Over and well-forecasted

Courtesy Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

Granted, we haven’t seen much tropical activity the past couple of months, so the fact that the season is now “over over” surprises no one.

If you look at the bell curve of tropical activity, Sept. 10 is the most likely day to have some kind of tropical system in the Atlantic Basin:

Mid-August to Mid-October is the ripe time for storms!

Once we were all in and done, we ended up with the third-most active season on record with 21 storms, trailing the 30 storms from last year and the 28 storms from 2005 (the Katrina, Rita, Wilma year!).

21 storms for 2021
Two hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast including Nicholas for our area

Twenty-one storms for 2021 and, interestingly, eight of them hit the United States or about a third. Two storms became hurricanes with Ida into southeastern Louisiana and Nicholas into southeastern Texas. Because we don’t use the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z for hurricane names we only have 21 names and we went through them all!

We used every name this year

So how was the forecast?

Most forecasts predicted around 20 storms this year with three to five major and that was fairly on-target. We ended up with a score of 21-7-4 and while NOAA originally in May forecasted as many as 20, they did up their prediction by one on Aug. 4:

2021 Hurricane Forecast was on target

So our 21 storms were at the top of the NHC forecast while the seven hurricanes were at the bottom of the forecast and the four major were right in the middle! I would give that forecast an A+.

I’ll look closer at the one that got us, Nicholas, on Friday.


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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with four decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.