US NOAA predicts another active Atlantic hurricane season

21 May 2021

London, (Quantum Commodity Intelligence) –The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, the US government agency said Friday.

Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

However, the report said weather experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020. 

The 2020 hurricane season had a devastating impact on the oil and gas sector, with storms like Marco, Laura and Sally ripping through the Gulf of Mexico and making landfall along the US Gulf coast which hosts much of the US oil and gas infrastructure.

For 2021, NOAA forecasts a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).

NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. The Atlantic hurricane season officially extends from June 1 through November 30. 

Last month, NOAA updated the statistics used to determine when hurricane seasons are above-, near-, or below-average relative to the latest climate record. Based on this update an average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which 7 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane season is now a familiar fixture in the energy trading calendar, with price volatility impacting global oil and gas markets.

While the hurricane season runs from June to November, storms typically intensify in the mid-August to mid-October period, posing a major threat to shipping, offshore oil/gas production and onshore refining/processing.