By Dave Warren

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season outlook just released by the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is calling for another above-average hurricane season.

There is a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 30 percent chance of a normal season, and the chance of a below-normal season is only at a 10 percent chance. This forecast is compared to the new normal values which will increase this season to reflect the increase in storms over the past 30 years.

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The outlook is calling for 13-20 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes of which 3-5 will be major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). The normal values now being 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.

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Warmer than normal sea surface temperatures over the Tropical Atlantic are forecast this season. Weaker trade winds plus an enhanced West African monsoon season are other factors which contribute to the increased tropical activity forecast. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently in a neutral phase, but the return of La Nina is possible towards the end of the season. “ENSO-neutral and La Nina support the conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

A number of improvements have been made to enhance the hurricane observations and forecasts. The Global Forecast System (American model) was upgraded in March of this year. National Hurricane Center forecasters are now using the P-Surge storm surge model, extending the forecast time from 48 to 60 hours. A wide array of unmanned data sensors will be deployed in and around storms to help improve intensity forecasts and forecast models.

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Coming off a record-breaking season serves as a good reminder for us here in South Florida to be prepared for the 2021 hurricane season which runs June 1 through November 30.

Dave Warren