Meteorologists are predicting another hyperactive hurricane season, which would affect Yucatán.
According to computer models, the greater Atlantic region may see as many as 17 tropical cyclones.
“It is likely that as many as 8 of the 17 tropical cyclones we are expecting will turn into full-fledged hurricanes,” says Dr. Philip Klotzbach of Colorado University.
Hurricanes are tropical storms with sustained wind speeds of at least 74 mph. The intensity of hurricanes is measured on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. This scale ranks storms into categories ranging from one to five, based on a hurricane’s maximum sustained winds.
Category 5 hurricanes are fairly uncommon, but when they do form they are extremely dangerous. Even tropical storms that do not reach hurricane status can cause great devastation through intense gusts of wind and flooding.
In 2020, the Yucatán Peninsula was hit hard by hurricanes Delta and Zeta, as well as the tropical storms Amanda, Cristobal and Gamma. The Atlantic hurricane season finished with 30 named storms, the most in any year on record.
Most of the damage done by hurricanes and tropical storms comes as a result of flooding or wind gusts capable of downing power lines, trees and even homes.
Hurricane prediction models take into account several factors such as the temperature of the world’s oceans and the presence of weather phenomena such as “El Niño,” which is not expected this year.
The names for the storms which achieve the status of tropical storm for the 2021 season are: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.
The official forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be issued in late May.