Active 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Ends

Written by Dustin Maddox, Meteorologist

Last updated 11/30/2021, 5:30:52 PM

The early predictions of an active 2021 Atlantic hurricane season came true and today the season officially ends. The season produced 21 named storms, of which 7 became hurricanes and 4 of those became major hurricanes. It was the third most active season on record in terms of named storms and it marked the sixth consecutive above normal Atlantic hurricane season. All 21 names on the list were used. 5 systems underwent rapid intensification - Elsa, Grace, Ida, Larry, and Sam. 8 systems hit the U.S. coastline. It was the 4th costliest Atlantic Hurricane Season on record with $70.5 billion in damages. The final ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) of the season was 145, or about 18 percent above average. The NOAA Hurricane Hunters once again provided valuable information with tracking the tropical activity. During the course of  462 total flight hours for the season, they deployed 1,310 dropsondes and 58 hurricane eyewall passages.

The 2021 Season once again started early, with Tropical Storm Ana forming during the month of May, which has been a trend in recent years. This is the seventh consecutive year that a named system has formed before June 1 (the official beginning date of the Atlantic Hurricane Season). 

A first occurred when an uncrewed Saildrone captured video and measurements at the surface of the ocean as Major Hurricane Sam passed by, recording 125mph winds and 50 foot waves. The data collected will help NOAA to better represent the conditions that fuel hurricanes within forecast models.

New storm surge warning and induration maps were introduced 5 years ago, and since then, despite 16 U.S. hurricane landfall, of which 7 were major hurricanes, only 7 known direct fatalities attributed to storm surge have occurred in the United States. 

The most destructive system of the season for the United States was Hurricane Ida. Ida caused $65 billion in damage with 115 fatalities, 95 of those occurring in the U.S. Ida made landfall on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, with 150mph sustained winds and a minimum central pressure of 929 millibars near Port Fourchon, Louisiana on August 29th. 35 tornadoes occurred due to Ida from August 29 - September 2, the strongest of which was an EF3 with 150mph winds that hit Mullica Hill, New Jersey. The storm would go on to cause extensive and historic flooding for the Northeast U.S. 

As a bit of a surprise, the season quickly fizzled after Tropical Storm Victor dissipated in early October, with the last storm Wanda forming on October 31. 

The 2021 East Pacific Hurricane Season also ends today. 21 named storms formed, with 8 becoming hurricanes and 2 of those becoming major hurricanes. 6 of these systems made landfall in Mexico.

As we eagerly await Spring for the predictions for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, start your risk-free trial, no credit card required at sign-up, with WeatherTap today and follow all the winter storm activity in the months ahead.