2021 Hurricane Season is Almost Out of Names With Two Months Left
A summer of storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes rocked the Northeast, a region that doesn't usually see the most destructive impacts of extreme weather. Now, as New Yorkers and east coast residents repair storm damages and look to the government for climate solutions, the National Hurricane Center says the US is almost out of storm names for the second year in a row. And hurricane season still has two more months to go.
Why This Matters
This year's hurricanes highlighted not only the increasing intensity of storms, but also the unpreparedness of cities -- once sheltered from extreme weather -- when it comes to heightening climate dangers. As President Biden surveyed the damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in New York and New Jersey, he reaffirmed that the nation must do more to adapt to intensifying climate disasters. "The evidence is clear. Climate change poses an existential threat to our lives, to our economy," he said. "We can stop it from getting worse … when I talk about building back better … you've got to build better so that if the storm occurred again, there would be no damage."
Vox: How climate change makes hurricanes worse, August 28, 2017.
By the Numbers
This year is on track to run out of hurricane names as listed by the World Meteorological Organization, and some weather experts predict the 2021 hurricane season may surpass 2020's altogether. In the US in 2020, there were 30 named storms, including eight hurricanes with four making landfall; and eight named storms that made landfall. With two months still left of 2021's hurricane season, the year has seen: 19 named storms, seven hurricanes with two making landfall; and eight named storms that made landfall.
In addition to the active Atlantic storm season, the Northeast saw a burst of tornadic storms and record-breaking winds. Between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has reported an average of two tornadoes per year, a cluster of 11 tornadoes broke out at once. This summer has received the most severe wind reports across the Northeast since 2020.
With only the names Victor and Wanda left on the list, storm names will loop back around to the beginning of the alphabet instead of shifting to the Greek alphabet per previous protocol. That puts Adria and Braylen up next, and experts say there are already two systems off the coast of Africa threatening to develop into tropical storms this week.