2020 was the year that will go down in the history books as the season the world turned upside down. Along with a brutal Presidential election and a COVID pandemic, the Atlantic pumped out 30 different tropical systems.
Fortunately, this year doesn’t have the same mix or dynamic of ingredients to produce the same. Some of the big factors that were present last year and not in 2021 included the La Nina weather pattern and a warmer sea surface temperature. Instead, the El Nino weather pattern is in stronger effect, which works against hurricane development, and the water is notably colder in the Atlantic.
Getting Into the Numbers
Overall, the 2021 season is expected to have just a bit over half the number of storms produced the year before, and half of those are expected to become hurricanes. Typically, an average season puts out 14 storms, half of which become full-blown hurricanes. The assessments combine the agreed-upon predictions from the Weather Channel, NOAA, Colorado State University, and Penn State University. However, Penn State is also an outlier in that it expects even less than half the number of storms in total, at 12 storms instead of 15. From the expert view, the big swing should give everyone affected a big break and a chance to recover from the beating the U.S. coast took in 2020, along with everything else going on that year.
A Few Disagree
There are outliers, of course, in any predictive business. Caribbean experts think the year will put out almost 30 storms like it did last year. However, the overall expert consensus disagrees. The elements that make up a perfect hurricane assembly line just aren’t present weather-wise this year. And that should be good news for folks along the coast that traditionally feel the brunt of the weather, such as Texas, Florida and the Carolinas.
Use the Break to Prepare and Plan
Of course, nothing is ever perfect, even the most-researched predictions can be wrong. And that’s even more of a good reason why everyone should take the time to be prepared, to have a go-bag and escape plan, and financial reserves in case a disaster does occur. For example, 1992 was supposed to be a quiet year and shaped up the same until Hurricane Andrew smashed through Florida badly. Folks should also remember to stay tuned to announcements and updates from MC911 for the Greater Houston region. We also recommend signing up for alerts through Smart911.
The Montgomery County Emergency Communication District, or MCECD, takes every weather season seriously and always keeps folks updated on the latest risk details developing. That kind of information is invaluable for planning and preparation, even if something at first seems a bit far off or going to go up the Eastern seaboard instead of coming through the Gulf toward Texas. Time and again, weather has been unpredictable and unwilling to follow expected norms. Our world continues to change, so prevention and flexibility are key in being ready to respond.