RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is now underway with experts saying it will be an above-normal season but not a repeat of the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020. 

In May, NOAA announced a 60 percent chance of an above-normal hurricane season, a 30 percent chance of a near-normal hurricane season, and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.

“Although NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator. “The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are well-prepared with significant upgrades to our computer models, emerging observation techniques, and the expertise to deliver the life-saving forecasts that we all depend on during this, and every, hurricane season.”

Forecasters predict there will be about 13 to 20 named storms with winds as high as 39 mph or higher.

Six to 10 of those could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher.

Of those, three to five may become major hurricanes at a category of 3, 4, or 5, bringing winds of 111 mph or higher.

This season started early with Tropical Storm Ana forming on May 22.

Here are the names of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season:

  • Ana (AH-nah)
  • Bill (bill)
  • Claudette (klaw-DET)
  • Danny (DAN-ee)
  • Elsa (EL-suh)
  • Fred (frehd)Grace (grayss)
  • Henri (ahn-REE)
  • Ida (EYE-duh)
  • Julian (JOO-lee-uhn)
  • Kate (kayt)
  • Larry (LAIR-ree)
  • Mindy (MIN-dee)
  • Nicholas (NIH-kuh-luss)
  • Odette (oh-DEHT)
  • Peter (PEE-tur)
  • Rose (rohz)
  • Sam (sam)
  • Teresa (tuh-REE-suh)
  • Victor (VIK-tur)
  • Wanda (WAHN-duh)