By Craig Setzer

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Colorado State University hurricane season forecast for 2021 was released on Thursday and it’s calling for above average activity in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico again this year.

Last year, thanks to the presence of La Niña, records were broken with 30 named storms, 13 of which became hurricanes.  This year CSU is calling for 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major (cat 3, 4, 5) hurricanes.  A normal year is 14, 7, and 3 respectively.

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The reasons behind the forecast for above average activity is based on the expectation that La Niña conditions will remain through the fall of 2021.  La Niña is pattern of cool surface ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific near the equator.  These cool temperatures result in a decrease in wind shear over the Caribbean, and that decrease of disruptive shear often leads to an increase in hurricane activity.

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Another reason for an above average seasonal forecast includes the prediction for warmer than normal water temperatures in the Tropical Atlantic.  Typically, when ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean are warmer than normal, hurricane activity is above average.

These two factors are the main ingredients in the seasonal outlook which will be updated monthly into the summer.

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Hurricane season begins June 1, and as always, officials warn that whether the season is above or below normal, only one storm hit here in South Florida makes it a busy season for those impacted.

Craig Setzer