• The sixth consecutive record year was marked by above-normal activity.
  • In 2021, eight storms hit the United States.
  • The most memorable 2021 event will be Hurricane Ida.

The intense 2021 Atlantic hurricane season comes to its official end Tuesday, a season that saw 21 named tropical storms and hurricanes.

This number was only behind 2020’s 30-storm record and the 2005 28-storm formations. A typical season is home to 14 storms. 

For the second consecutive year, all the names on the list for the season were used, starting with Tropical Storm Ana in May and ending with Tropical Storm Wanda November.

The record six consecutive years of above-normal activity was also achieved.

Jonathan Erdman from Weather.com, a meteorologist, stated that despite the large number of storms 2021’s total hurricane count of seven was in line with the average of past 30 years. It only covered half of the record-breaking total of 14 hurricanes in 2020.

If the hurricane’s sustained wind speed exceeds 74 miles per hour, a tropical storm is considered a hurricane.

Eight of those storms made landfall in the USA in 2021, beginning with Claudette, named just after its center moved ashore in Louisiana in late June, Erdman said.

Ida was the most memorable hurricane

Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher at Colorado State University, told USA TODAY, “obviously 2021 will most be remembered for Hurricane Ida which caused devastation along the central Gulf Coast and torrential rains to the mid-Atlantic States.”

Ida crashed into the Louisiana coast on August 29th with 150 mph winds, marking the 16th anniversary Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. 

After battering the South and despite being downgraded to a tropical depression, Ida continued on a path toward the mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the next few days, where heavy rains caused catastrophic flooding. At least 53 people died from drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC estimates that Ida has killed 91 U.S. citizens. NOAA has estimated that Ida did just below $65 billion worth of damage. Erdman stated that Ida is the fifth most destructive tropical cyclone in American history, after Katrina and Harvey.

We’re still not finished with it yetAt least 46 are dead in floods that ravaged NYC, Northeast

Klotzbach said “Ida serves as a great reminder that hurricanes aren’t just a coastal problem.”

Another notable storm was Hurricane Henri which made landfall in Rhode Island for the first time since 1991’s Hurricane Bob. (Henri, a tropical storm that made landfall in the United States of America was also present. Klotzbach stated that Hurricane Nicholas made landfall in Texas on September 1st, 2008 after Ike. Storm surge and heavy rainfall brought floods to the battered northern Gulf Coast by Nicolas.

Erdman also stated that coastal and inland destruction from Hurricane Elsa as well as Tropical Storm Fred made them billion-dollar storms.

Season comes to an abrupt halt

Klotzbach stated that although the 2021 season finished above average, what was most surprising about it, particularly in the Caribbean region, was its quiet conclusion. “Normally a warmer than normal Caribbean combined with La Niña conditions create an environment that is more favorable” for storms. 

He stated, however that the wind shear in October and November of 2021 was stronger than usual and there were dry conditions, which suppressed Caribbean form.

Wind shear tends to tear developing storms apart. “The only named storm that we had after Hurricane Sam dissipated on Oct. 5 was Wanda, which formed at high latitudes late in October,” Klotzbach said.

In fact, the Atlantic had no named storm activity from Oct. 3 to Oct. 30 – the first time since 2006 that the Atlantic had no named storm activity between these two dates.

According to most preseason forecasts, an active year was expected. NOAA said 13 to 20 named storms would form, of which six to 10 would be hurricanes. Colorado State University’s meteorologists also predicted the formation of 17 tropical storms, eight of which would be hurricanes.

AccuWeather as well as the Weather Channel predicted that there would be a more active hurricane season than normal.

Source: USAToday.com


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