'Average' hurricane season now includes more storms, NOAA says

It's not just your imagination. The average Atlantic hurricane season is busier than it used to be.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average hurricane season now includes 14 named storms and seven hurricanes--up from 12 and 6 respectively. The average number of major hurricanes remains unchanged at three.



"These updated averages better reflect our collective experience of the past 10 years, which included some very active hurricane seasons," said Matt Rosencrans, seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center uses 30-year periods to create the averages. So up until this next hurricane season, the average season was based off information from 1981-2010. This hurricane season will be based off the data from 1991-2020.

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"This update allows our meteorologists to make forecasts for the hurricane season with the most relevant climate statistics taken into consideration," said Michael Farrar, director of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

NOAA said the new 30-year data did not cause any changes to the averages for the Eastern Pacific or Central Pacific basins.

NOAA will issue its initial outlook for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season in late May. The season officially starts June 1 and runs through November 30.
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