Researchers at Colorado State University have been publishing season forecasts since the 1990′s. It’s a process that has been refined over decades. The team accurately predicted the nightmarish 2020 season, which delivered 31 tropical depressions, tying the record with 1995, as well as a record-breaking 30 tropical storms, 13 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes.
While the team from Colorado State hasn’t yet put exact numbers to their forecast, an early forecast released in January gives us some ideas. Analyzing the state of global weather patterns and circulations like El Niño and the Atlantic Mult-Decadal Oscillation, among others, forecasts are not encouraging for a significant break.
They give a 25% probability of a well-above-normal season that could net as many as 14-17 tropical storms, 9-11 hurricanes, and 4-5 major hurricanes.
They give a larger probability, 35%, of a season slightly less busy but still above normal: 12-15 tropical storms, 6-8 hurricanes, and 2-3 major hurricanes.
If an El Niño develops, that could lead to a near-average or even a below-average season. The team doesn’t rule it out, but they only give it 10-20% odds.
The 30-year average is used to define “normal.” Normal is 12 tropical storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2-3 major hurricanes.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1 every year and lasts through November 30. Storms are possible but infrequent at other times of the year.