NOAA changes average number of Atlantic hurricane season named storms

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) — Starting this year, the Atlantic hurricane season’s average statistics have shifted. Now using the 1991 through 2020 30-year climate record, the average Atlantic hurricane season has changed from a normal of 12 named storms to 14 named storms. A storm will be named as it reaches tropical storm or stronger status. 

The average number of hurricanes has been updated from 6 to 7. 

The average for major hurricanes, Category 3 or above, has remained the same which still stands at 3. 

NOAA says there are a few reasons for the change such as improvements in observing technology like satellites and hurricane reconnaissance, and potentially due to the warming ocean and atmosphere as a result of climate change. NOAA says “scientists have evaluated the impacts of climate change on tropical cyclones and determined that it can influence storm intensity. [But] further research is needed to better understand and attribute the impacts of anthropogenic forcings and natural variability on tropical storm activity.” 

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. This year’s hurricane outlook will be issued in late May. 

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