U.S. drops forecast for 2021 Atlantic hurricanes

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HOUSTON, Aug 5 - Scientists at Colorado State University on Thursday reduced their forecast for named Atlantic hurricanes from 20 to 18 expected in the 2021 tropical storm season from Tuesday.

The closely monitored forecast kept unchanged the number of hurricanes forecast for 2021 at nine and the number of major hurricanes at four in what is still expected to be an above-average season, according to the paper released online on Thursday.

Warmer sea surface temperatures and reduced wind shear point to an above-average season, according to the forecast, but models based on the previous 39 years point to a lower number of names of storms.

The increase is in line with the outlook reported by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday, which named 15 to 21 storms for the season, which began on June 1 and continues to Nov. 30, with peak activity between August and October.

NOAA improved the prediction limit for predicting new storms from 20 to 21.

The forecast includes five confirmed storms so far this year. Two systems in the eastern Atlantic have a chance to develop into tropical storms, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Thursday. There has not been a storm since Hurricane Elsa dissipated on 9 July over the eastern United States.

This year is expected to be the sixth straight above average U.S. Atlantic hurricane season due to high wind and raininess. The 2020 record season had 30 named storms.

An average hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean between 1991 and 2020 saw three tropical hurricanes, seven hurricanes and 14 major storms.

Major hurricanes have sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour and are an extreme danger for people.