2021 Atlantic hurricane season closes as third most active, fourth-costliest on record

For the sixth consecutive year, the Atlantic hurricane season posted above-average metrics, spawning 21 named storms, including seven that made landfall in the contiguous United States, four of which were classified as “major” storms.”

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The busy 2021 season, which ended Tuesday, was eclipsed in volume only by the 27 named storms recorded in 2005, and the record-setting 30 named storms of 2020, NPR reported.

2021 also marked only the third season on record to exhaust all names on the National Hurricane Center’s conventional naming list, The Washington Post reported.

According to the NHC, 14 named storms per year are considered average.

Meanwhile, preliminary data indicate that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season was the fourth-costliest on record, due primarily to Hurricane Ida’s widespread destruction, with total damage and losses expected to surpass $70 billion, the Post reported.

According to NPR, Ida alone accounted for more than $60 billion of that total damage figure after it made landfall Aug. 29, the 16th anniversary of 2005′s catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, along Louisiana’s coast as a near Category 5 storm. The storm was blamed for 26 deaths in Louisiana and at least 50 other fatalities across the Northeast, as well as catastrophic flooding across the mid-Atlantic.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in late May that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season could see as many as 20 named storms and categorized the projected activity as “above normal.”

>> Related: 2021 Atlantic hurricane season expected to be ‘above-normal,’ NOAA predicts

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off June 1. However, forecasters are considering moving up the start date to May 15 after the 2021 season became the seventh in a row to have a named storm form prior to the traditional start date.