NOAA announces early outlook for 2021 hurricane season in Louisiana

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be “above normal,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.

In the initial outlook for this year’s storm seasonThe NOAA predicts that there will be approximately 13 to 20 named storms, six to hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes.

The average is 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, according to updated NOAA averages for the 30-year period 1991-2020.

Despite an above-average hurricane season expected, 2021 is not expected to be as active as 2020, said Matthew Rosencrans, chief meteorologist for the seasonal hurricane outlook at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

For hurricane-prone areas like the U.S. Gulf Coast, preparation is essential, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said. She added that FEMA will continue to work closely with the National Hurricane Center and state and local jurisdictions to prepare for the 2021 hurricane season.

Follow the Atlantic hurricane season 2021:List of forecast and storm names

A few records were broken during the 2020 hurricane season in Louisiana – the most storms to make landfall in a single season (5), the first eye to pass over New Orleans in over 50 years (Hurricane Zeta) and the strongest hurricane to hit Louisiana in over 50 years. a century (Laura)

Hurricane Laura was the costliest natural disaster of 2020, NOAA says State of the climate report. His damages of around $ 19 billion exceeded the 22 billion dollar disasters last year, including forest fires and other severe weather events. Hurricanes Delta and Zeta, which also hit Louisiana, were also on the list.

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Turning to 2021, NOAA and FEMA have stressed the importance of preparing for hurricane season now. Here’s what that means for Louisiana.

What NOAA Predicts For Louisiana This Hurricane Season

Louisiana, still reeling from the aftermath of a devastating hurricane season, could again be hit hard by storm effects such as shock waves and wind, Rosencrans said.

“The past year has been an absolutely devastating year for many parts of southern Louisiana … If you are in a coastal area, be aware that you could be inundated by a storm surge and high winds,” a- he declared. “And if you’re inland, the threat of heavy rains, especially in low, very flat areas, freshwater flooding is very real and very dangerous.”

NHC forecasters are now using an improved storm surge model that will help better forecast the structure of storm winds and the sides of storms, said Ben Friedman, acting administrator of NOAA.

In coastal areas, storm surges and high winds are the main threat, Rosencrans said. In addition, in areas with high activity, hurricanes that affect land are more common, he said. There is about a 30% chance of landing anywhere along the coast.

As for the Louisiana forecast, the forecast, storm tracks and storm information for specific regions will be forecast by the National Hurricane Center about a week, Rosencrans said.

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While residents in hurricane-prone areas like Louisiana are encouraged to start preparing for hurricane season now, FEMA continues to work with the NHC to provide residents with the help they need.

When a storm has the potential to land or impact, FEMA and NHC work together to ensure that the right communication is broadcast so that everyone in the affected area can prepare accordingly, Criswell said. .

Additionally, Criswell said FEMA will continue to work with communities affected by disasters and recovering from their disasters to help better prepare for future events.

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“One of the concerns we have all the time is the fragility of our infrastructure,” Criswell said. “And we’ve seen that in some parts of the country it’s definitely more fragile than others.”

When asked about infrastructure in the Florida Keys, Criswell also linked FEMA’s efforts to other disaster-prone areas.

“As we see more storms, we see more intense storms,” she said. “Investing in this system-wide mitigation is going to make a big difference in helping reduce the impacts of storms, because we certainly won’t be able to stop the storms themselves.

The system-wide mitigation that Criswell refers to is a FEMA program designed to work with national and local authorities to understand their needs and implement grant programs to help them meet them.

Laura, Delta:FEMA offers guidelines for residents affected by hurricanes

Atlantic Hurricane Season Storm Tracking 2021

See the latest storm developments here. If the tracker does not charge, Click here.

Daniella Medina is a digital producer for the USA TODAY Network. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.

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