2021 Atlantic hurricane season

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2021 Atlantic hurricane season
2021 Atlantic hurricane season summary map.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedMay 22, 2021
Last system dissipatedNovember 7, 2021
Strongest storm
NameSam
 • Maximum winds155 mph (250 km/h)
(1-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure927 mbar (hPa; 27.37 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions21
Total storms21
Hurricanes7
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
4
Total fatalities194 total
Total damage$80.683 billion (2021 USD)
(Third-costliest tropical cyclone season on record)
Related articles
Atlantic hurricane seasons
2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season was the third-most active Atlantic hurricane season on record, producing 21 named storms; it was also the second season in a row after 2020, and third overall, in which the designated 21-name list of storm names was exhausted.[1][2] It was also the sixth consecutive year in which there was above-average tropical cyclone activity.[nb 1][1] Additionally, with a damage total of more than $80 billion, it was the third-costliest season on record behind 2005 and 2017. The season began on June 1, 2021, and ended on November 30, 2021. These dates, adopted by convention, historically describe the period in each year when most Atlantic tropical cyclones form.[4] However, subtropical or tropical cyclogenesis is possible at any time of the year, as was the case this season, when Tropical Storm Ana formed on May 22, making 2021 the seventh consecutive year that a storm formed before the designated start of the season.[5] The season had the most active June on record, tying 1886, 1909, 1936, and 1968 with three named storms forming in the month.[6] Then, on July 1, Hurricane Elsa formed, surpassing 2020's Tropical Storm Edouard as the earliest-forming fifth named storm on record by five days.[7] Elsa caused significant impacts from Barbados to much of the East Coast of the United States, and was one of four billion-dollar storms in the season.[8]

In addition to Elsa, several hurricanes had severe impact on land in 2021. Hurricane Grace intensified to a Category 3 major hurricane[nb 2] before making landfall in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Hurricane Ida was a deadly and destructive hurricane that made landfall at Category 4 strength in southeastern Louisiana, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina decimated that same region.[9] Ida also caused catastrophic flooding across the Northeastern United States. By September, Hurricane Larry peaked as a powerful Category 3 hurricane over the open Atlantic before making landfall in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador as a Category 1 hurricane. Later in the month, Hurricane Nicholas moved erratically both on- and offshore the coasts of Texas and Louisiana.

This season, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) began issuing regular Tropical Weather Outlooks on May 15, two weeks earlier than it has done in the past. The change was implemented given that named systems had formed in the Atlantic Ocean prior to the start of the season in each of the preceding six cycles.[10] Prior to the start of the season, NOAA deployed five modified hurricane-class saildrones at key locations around the basin, and in September, one of the vessels was in position to obtain video and data from inside Hurricane Sam. It was the first ever research vessel to venture inside the middle of a major hurricane.[11]

Seasonal forecasts[edit]

Predictions of tropical activity in the 2021 season
Source Date Named
storms
Hurricanes Major
hurricanes
Ref
Average (1991–2020) 14.4 7.2 3.2 [3]
Record high activity 30 15 7 [12]
Record low activity 4 2 0 [12]
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
TSR December 9, 2020 16 7 3 [13]
CSU April 8, 2021 17 8 4 [14]
PSU April 8, 2021 9–15 n/a n/a [15]
TSR April 13, 2021 17 8 3 [16]
UA April 13, 2021 18 8 4 [17]
NCSU April 14, 2021 15–18 7–9 2–3 [18]
TWC April 15, 2021 18 8 3 [19]
TWC May 13, 2021 19 8 4 [20]
NOAA May 20, 2021 13–20 6–10 3–5 [21]
UKMO* May 20, 2021 14 7 3 [22]
TSR May 27, 2021 18 9 4 [23]
CSU June 3, 2021 18 8 4 [24]
UA June 16, 2021 19 6 4 [25]
TSR July 6, 2021 20 9 4 [26]
CSU July 8, 2021 20 9 4 [27]
UKMO* August 2, 2021 15 6 3 [28]
NOAA August 4, 2021 15–21 7–10 3–5 [29]
CSU August 5, 2021 18 8 4 [30]
TSR August 5, 2021 18 7 3 [31]
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Actual activity
21 7 4
* June–November only
† Most recent of several such occurrences. (See all)

In advance of, and during, each hurricane season, several forecasts of hurricane activity are issued by national meteorological services, scientific agencies, and noted hurricane experts. These include forecasters from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Climate Prediction Center, Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), the United Kingdom's Met Office (UKMO), and Philip J. Klotzbach, William M. Gray and their associates at Colorado State University (CSU). The forecasts include weekly and monthly changes in significant factors that help determine the number of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes within a particular year. According to NOAA and CSU, the average Atlantic hurricane season between 1991 and 2020 contained roughly 14 tropical storms, seven hurricanes, three major hurricanes, and an accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index of 72–111 units.[13] Broadly speaking, ACE is a measure of the power of a tropical or subtropical storm multiplied by the length of time it existed. It is only calculated for full advisories on specific tropical and subtropical systems reaching or exceeding wind speeds of 39 mph (63 km/h).[3] NOAA typically categorizes a season as above-average, average, or below-average based on the cumulative ACE index, but the number of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes within a hurricane season is sometimes also considered.[3]

Pre-season forecasts[edit]

On December 9, 2020, TSR issued an extended range forecast for the 2021 hurricane season, predicting slightly above-average activity with 16 named storms, seven hurricanes, three major hurricanes, and an ACE index of about 127 units. TSR cited the expected development of a weak La Niña during the third quarter of 2021 as the main factor behind their forecast.[13] CSU released their first predictions on April 8, 2021, predicting an above-average season with 17 named storms, eight hurricanes, four major hurricanes, and an ACE index of 150 units, citing the unlikelihood of an El Niño and much warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the subtropical Atlantic.[14] TSR updated their forecast on April 13, with 17 named storms, eight hurricanes, and three major hurricanes, with an ACE index of 134 units.[16] On the same day, University of Arizona (UA) issued its seasonal prediction of above-average hurricane activities, with 18 named storms, eight hurricanes, four major hurricanes, and an ACE index of 137 units.[17] North Carolina State University (NCSU) made its prediction for the season on April 14, calling for an above-average season with 15 to 18 named storms, seven to nine hurricanes, and two to three major hurricanes.[18] On May 13, The Weather Company (TWC) updated their forecast for the season, calling for an active season, with 19 named storms, eight hurricanes, and four major hurricanes.[20] On May 20, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued their forecasts for the season, predicting a 60% chance of above-average activity and 30% chance for below-average activity, with 13–20 named storms, 6–10 hurricanes and 3–5 major hurricanes.[21] The following day, UKMO issued their own forecast for the 2021 season, predicting an average one with 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes, with a 70% chance that each of these statistics will fall between 9 and 19, 4 and 10, and 1 and 5, respectively.[22]

Mid-season forecasts[edit]

On June 16, UA updated their forecast for the season, with 19 named storms, six hurricanes, four major hurricanes, and an ACE index of 183 units.[25] On July 6, TSR released their third forecast for the season, slightly increasing their numbers to 20 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes. This prediction was largely based on their expectation for a weak La Niña to develop by the third quarter of the year.[26] On July 8, CSU updated their prediction to 20 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.[27] On August 5, TSR issued their final forecast for the season, lowering their numbers to 18 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.[31]

Seasonal summary[edit]

October 2021 nor'easterHurricane SamHurricane NicholasHurricane LarryHurricane IdaHurricane HenriHurricane GraceTropical Storm Fred (2021)Hurricane ElsaTropical Storm Danny (2021)Tropical Storm Claudette (2021)Saffir-Simpson scale
Three tropical cyclones simultaneously active in the North Atlantic on August 16: Fred (left), nearing landfall in the Florida Panhandle; Grace (bottom), south of Hispaniola; and the tropical depression which would eventually become Henri (upper right), near Bermuda

Tropical Storm Ana formed ten days before the official start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, making 2021 the seventh consecutive year in which a tropical or subtropical cyclone formed before the season's official start on June 1. Ana formed in a location where no tropical storms within the month of May had been documented since before 1950.[32] In mid-June, a rapidly developing non-tropical low offshore of the North Carolina coast became Tropical Storm Bill. The system lasted for only two days before becoming extratropical. Later that month, Tropical Storm Claudette formed on the coast of Louisiana and Tropical Storm Danny formed off the coast of South Carolina. Hurricane Elsa formed on July 1, making it the earliest fifth-named storm on record, surpassing the previous record by five days, set by Tropical Storm Edouard in 2020.[7] It soon became the first hurricane of the season before impacting the Caribbean and making landfall in Cuba. Later, Elsa brought impacts to Eastern United States, after making landfall in Florida as a tropical storm on July 7.[33] Afterwards, activity came to a halt due to unfavorable conditions across the basin.

On August 11, Fred formed in the eastern Caribbean, bringing impacts to the Greater and Lesser Antilles, and the Southeastern United States. A couple of days later, Grace formed and strengthened to the second hurricane and first major hurricane of the season, and brought impacts to Hispaniola, and the Yucatan Peninsula, before making landfall in the Mexican state of Veracruz. A third tropical system, Henri, developed on August 16, near Bermuda.[34] Henri meandered for several days before becoming the third hurricane of the season on August 21 and impacted New England, causing record flooding in some places. Towards the end of the month, Hurricane Ida formed, causing major damage in Western Cuba before rapidly intensifying into a Category 4 hurricane and making landfall in Southeastern Louisiana at peak intensity, producing widespread, catastrophic damage. Its remnants then generated a deadly tornado outbreak and widespread, record breaking flooding across the Northeastern United States. Two other tropical storms, Kate and Julian, also formed briefly during this time, but remained at sea. Larry initially formed on the last day of August and strengthened into a major hurricane early in September. It became the first hurricane to make landfall on Newfoundland since Igor in 2010.[35]

List of costliest Atlantic hurricane seasons (as of 2021)
Rank Cost Season
1 ≥ $294.703 billion 2017
2 $172.297 billion 2005
3 ≥ $80.543 billion 2021
4 $72.341 billion 2012
5 $61.148 billion 2004
6 ≥ $51.146 billion 2020
7 ≥ $50.126 billion 2018
8 ≥ $48.855 billion 2008
9 $27.302 billion 1992
10 ≥ $17.485 billion 2016

As the mid-point of the hurricane season approached,[nb 3] Tropical Storm Mindy formed on September 8, and made landfall on the Florida Panhandle shortly thereafter.[36] It was followed by Hurricane Nicholas, which formed on September 12,[37] and made landfall along the central Texas coast two days later.[38] They were followed by three tropical storms—Odette, Peter, and Rose—which were steered by prevailing winds away from any interaction with land.[39] The busy pace of storm-formation continued late into September. Sam, a long-lived major hurricane, developed in the central tropical Atlantic, and proceeded to rapidly intensify from a tropical depression to a hurricane within 24 hours on September 23 and 24.[40][41] Sam peaked in strength on September 26 as a high-end Category 4 hurricane, becoming only the second Category 4 or 5 hurricane on record so far east or south in the Atlantic so late in the year – the first was Lorenzo, in 2019.[42] It remained a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) for nearly eight consecutive days, the longest continuous stretch at that intensity for an Atlantic hurricane since Ivan, in 2004.[43] Meanwhile, Subtropical Storm Teresa formed north of Bermuda on September 24. Short-lived Tropical Storm Victor formed late in the month, at an unusually low latitude of 8.3°N; only two North Atlantic tropical storms on record have formed further to the south: 2018's Kirk at 8.1°N, and an unnamed 1902 hurricane at 7.7°N.[44]

After a nearly four-week break from tropical activity, Subtropical Storm Wanda formed in the central North Atlantic on October 31, and became fully tropical on November 1. This system was the same storm that previously had brought rain and damaging wind gusts to Southern New England as a potent nor'easter.[45] Wanda was the last storm of the season.

The ACE index for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, as calculated by Colorado State University using data from the NHC, is 145.1 units.[46] The totals represent the sum of the squares for every (sub)tropical storm's intensity of over 33 knots (38 mph; 61 km/h), divided by 10,000.

Systems[edit]

Tropical Storm Ana[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Ana 2021-05-22 1505Z.jpg Ana 2021 track.png
DurationMay 22 – May 23
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1004 mbar (hPa)

An upper-level trough drifted across the western Atlantic on May 19, inducing the formation of a low-pressure area along a stalled front the next day. That extratropical cyclone became co-located with an upper-level low, which afforded the system lower wind shear and sufficient instability to develop convection despite cold sea surface temperatures. After the system shed its frontal structure, it became Subtropical Storm Ana at 06:00 UTC on May 22. The system made a counter-clockwise loop due to weak steering currents. With the presence of a more symmetrical wind field and organized thunderstorm activity by early on May 23, Ana transitioned into a tropical storm as it accelerated northeastward amid southwesterly mid-level flow. Ana reached peak winds of 45 mph (75 km/h) before it encountered increasing wind shear and began losing convection. By 18:00 UTC on May 23, the system transitioned into an extratropical cyclone, which merged with a trough early on May 24. That trough was then absorbed by a frontal system later that day.[47]

Tropical Storm Bill[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Bill 2021-06-15 1100Z.png Bill 2021 track.png
DurationJune 14 – June 15
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  992 mbar (hPa)

In mid-June, a cold front sagged southward across the Mid-Alantic United States. Shower and thunderstorm activity coalesced offshore South Carolina, leading to the formation of an area of low pressure there. This low, and the associated convection, became better defined while being directed northeast by a shortwave trough, and a tropical depression formed about 125 mi (200 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, around 06:00 UTC on June 14. Though sheared, the incipient cyclone strengthened into Tropical Storm Bill twelve hours later. Banding features became better defined, especially across the northern and western quadrants of the storm, and Bill reached peak winds of 65 mph (100 km/h) early on June 15 while paralleling the Northeast United States coastline. Its northeast track soon brought the system over colder waters and into higher wind shear, resulting in Bill's transition to an extratropical cyclone approximately 370 mi (595 km) east-southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, around 00:00 UTC on June 16. The low dissipated into a trough six hours later before progressing across southeastern Newfoundland.[48]

Tropical Storm Claudette[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Claudette 2021-06-21 1740Z.jpg Claudette 2021 track.png
DurationJune 19 – June 22
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1003 mbar (hPa)

In mid-June, a tropical wave crossed the Caribbean and eventually interacted with the enhanced portion of the monsoon trough in the East Pacific. This resulted in a large cyclonic gyre over Central America, with distinct disturbances over the East Pacific and in the Bay of Campeche. The latter system moved north, though it struggled with wind shear, resulting in a broad center with multiple swirls and winds largely confined in a rainband to the east. Around 00:00 UTC on June 19, the system organized into Tropical Storm Claudette and promptly moved onshore about 30 mi (50 km) south-southwest of Houma, Louisiana, with peak winds of 45 mph (75 km/h). The cyclone weakened to a depression as it moved northeastward over Alabama, but it regained tropical storm intensity while crossing North Carolina and reached a secondary peak intensity just offshore. By June 22, Claudette was accelerating northeast and undergoing an extratropical transition, a process it completed around 06:00 UTC that day. The extratropical low dissipated on June 23 to the southeast of Nova Scotia.[49]

The precursor Central American gyre, which also contributed to the development of Tropical Storm Dolores in the eastern Pacific, brought flooding to portions of Mexico, especially in Oaxaca, Puebla, and Veracruz.[50] At least 400 homes in Veracruz alone suffered damage due to flooding or mudslides, while two people drowned in Chiapas. Claudette produced tropical storm-force wind gusts, heavy rainfall, storm surge ranging from 2 to 4 ft (0.61 to 1.22 m) in height, from far eastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. Precipitation in Louisiana peaked at 11.03 in (280 mm) near Slidell, causing some degree of damage to 100 homes in the city. Additionally, about 100 homes in Hancock County, Mississippi, suffered water damage due to a combination of heavy rainfall and storm surge. Claudette also spawned at least nine tornadoes, four in Mississippi, three in Alabama, and one each in Georgia and North Carolina. One of the Alabama tornadoes, an EF2 that remained on the ground for approximately 22 mi (35 km), caused major damage and injured 20 people between East Brewton and Castleberry. The system caused 14 fatalities in the United States, all in Alabama, with 10 of those deaths due to a multi-vehicular accident near Montgomery. Overall, damage from Claudette in the United States was estimated at $375 million.[49]

Tropical Storm Danny[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Danny 2021-06-28 1840Z.jpg Danny 2021 track.png
DurationJune 27 – June 29
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1009 mbar (hPa)

On June 22, an upper-level trough detached from the mid-latitude jet stream. The system transitioned into an upper-level low over the subtropical central Atlantic during the next few days while trekking southwestward. Warmer waters caused convective activity to increase on June 24 while a deep-layer ridge moved the system westward. By June 27, the trough developed a closed low-level circulation as it continued to track west-northwestward, and it is estimated that Tropical Depression Four formed by 18:00 UTC that day about 460 mi (740 km) east-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Approximately 12 hours later, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Danny. The storm intensified slightly further a few hours later and peaked with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 1009 mb (29.80 inHg). At 23:20 UTC on June 28, Danny made landfall just north of Hilton Head on Pritchards Island, South Carolina, with sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km/h). The cyclone rapidly weakened while moving inland, falling to tropical depression intensity just 40 minutes later.[51] Danny dissipated over eastern Georgia early on June 29, after satellite imagery revealed that its low-level circulation was no longer well defined.[52]

Danny became the first storm to make landfall in South Carolina in the month of June since 1867.[53] The storm produced rainfall totals of up to 3 in (76.2 mm) in parts of South Carolina in the matter of hours following landfall, causing minor flash floods in populated areas.[54] Approximately 1,200 power outages occurred in southeastern South Carolina.[51] Lightning damaged some structures,[55] while windy conditions caused sporadic tree damage. Rip currents generated by the storm resulted in 10 water rescues in North Carolina.[51] Farther inland, Danny produced heavy rainfall across portions of Metro Atlanta as it tracked across Georgia in a westward direction.[56] Overall, the storm caused only about $5,000 in damage.[57]

Hurricane Elsa[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Elsa 2021-07-02 1725Z.jpg Elsa 2021 track.png
DurationJune 30 – July 9
Peak intensity85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  991 mbar (hPa)

On June 27, a tropical wave emerged into the Atlantic from the west coast of Africa. The wave initially produced disorganized convection while tracking quickly westward, though a marked increase in convection occurred on June 30. Later that day, satellite imagery and scatterometer data indicated that a tropical depression formed at 18:00 UTC, about 1,150 mi (1,850 km) east-southeast of Barbados. Six hours later, the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Elsa.[58] The storm continued westward due to a strong subtropical ridge to the north. After banding features became more defined and a small inner core developed, Elsa intensified into a hurricane on July 2. Passing near Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent shortly thereafter, the cyclone then reached the Caribbean and attained its peak intensity as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph (140 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 991 mbar (29.3 inHg).[58]

However, the system weakened back to a tropical storm around 12:00 UTC on July 3 due its rapid forward motion at almost 30 mph (48 km/h). Elsa's forward motion significantly slowed down by the next day, as the storm's center relocated to the east under the region with the strongest convection while passing just north of Jamaica. At 18:30 UTC on July 5, Elsa made landfall in Ciénaga de Zapata in Matanzas Province, Cuba, with winds of 65 mph (100 km/h). The storm curved north-northwestward and weakened slightly before emerging into the Gulf of Mexico early the following day. Thereafter, favorable conditions allowed Elsa to briefly re-attain hurricane status early on July 7, before wind shear and dry air entrainment weakened the system back to a tropical storm six hours later. At 14:30 UTC, the cyclone struck Taylor County, Florida, with winds of 65 mph (100 km/h). The storm weakened after landfall, but did not fall below minimal tropical storm strength. Instead, Elsa re-intensified due to baroclinic forcing while accelerating northeastward. Elsa became an extratropical cyclone at 18:00 UTC on July 9 over eastern Massachusetts, before the remnants dissipated over Atlantic Canada on the following day.[58]

While passing through the Windward Islands, Elsa produced sustained hurricane-force winds on Barbados, the first storm to do so since Janet in 1955. Winds downed many trees and left the entire island without electricity.[58] The storm also damaged approximately 1,300 homes,[59] with 62 of them completely destroyed. Additionally, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines reported damage to 43 homes and 3 police stations,[60] while the island nation suffered significant banana crop losses. Strong winds on Saint Lucia downed a number of trees and power lines, leaving approximately 90% of electrical customers without power. Although Martinique experienced mostly minor damage, one death occurred there. In the Dominican Republic, two fatalities occurred after strong winds caused the walls of a structure to collapse. Heavy rainfall in portions of Cuba led to flooding that inundated many streets in Cienfuegos Province and isolated three towns after the Jiabacoa River overflowed its banks. Elsa caused a boat containing 22 people to capsize in the Straits of Florida, 9 of whom were never found and presumed to have drowned.[58]

In the U.S., one person was killed by a falling tree in Florida, and another seventeen were injured at a Georgia military base during an EF1 tornado.[61] At least five people were killed by Elsa, including four in the Caribbean and one in the United States. The storm caused at least $1.2 billion in damages.[62][63]

Tropical Storm Fred[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Fred 2021-08-16 1620Z.jpg Fred 2021 track.png
DurationAugust 11 – August 17
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  991 mbar (hPa)

Three tropical waves emerged into the Atlantic from the west coast of Africa in late July and early August. The waves slowly consolidated and organized while moving generally west-northwestward across the Atlantic. The system passed through the Leeward Islands without a well-defined center on August 10. By 00:00 UTC the next day, however, the system developed into Tropical Storm Fred over the northeastern Caribbean just south of Puerto Rico. Fred then made landfall near San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, with winds of 45 mph (75 km/h) at 17:00 UTC. The storm deteriorated to a tropical depression early on August 12, hours before emerging into the Atlantic off the north coast of Haiti. Fred briefly re-intensified into a tropical storm on August 13, but strong wind shear weakened it back to a tropical depression before striking Cayo Romano, Cuba, at 12:00 UTC. Land interaction then caused the system to degrade into an open trough early on August 14, but the storm began re-organizing after emerging into the Gulf of Mexico several hours later. Fred re-developed into a tropical storm over the eastern Gulf of Mexico around 12:00 UTC the next day as it headed generally northward. At 18:00 UTC on August 16, Fred peaked with winds of 65 mph (100 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 993 mbar (29.32 inHg), just over an hour before making landfall near Cape San Blas, Florida. Fred weakened to a tropical depression over Alabama on August 17, before weakening into a remnant low over Tennessee at 00:00 UTC on August 18. The remnant low became extratropical about 24 hours later over Pennsylvania. This system persisted until dissipating over Massachusetts on August 20.[64]

Several islands of the Lesser Antilles reported rainfall and gusty winds.[64] Similar conditions in Puerto Rico resulted in over 13,000 customers losing electricity.[65] In the Dominican Republic, Fred left approximately 500,000 people without electricity and 40,000 customers without power. Floods isolated 47 communities and damaged or demolished more than 800 homes, including about 100 in Santo Domingo. The storm produced heavy rains over parts of Cuba, including a maximum total of 11.25 in (286 mm) of precipitation at Hatibonico in Guantánamo Province. In Florida, storm surge caused minor coastal flooding in the Forgotten Coast region. About 40,000 customers lost electricity throughout northern Florida. One person died from a car accident due to hydroplaning in Bay County. Fred and its remnants later spawned 31 tornadoes from Georgia to Massachusetts. The storm also caused flooding as it moved farther inland, especially over western North Carolina. At least 784 businesses and homes and 23 bridges in Buncombe and Haywood counties combined were damaged or destroyed. The town of Cruso alone reported six fatalities and about $300 million in damage. Throughout the United States, Fred left seven deaths and approximately $1.3 billion in damage.[64]

Hurricane Grace[edit]

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Grace 2021-08-21 0610Z.jpg Grace 2021 track.png
DurationAugust 13 – August 21
Peak intensity120 mph (195 km/h) (1-min)  967 mbar (hPa)

On August 9, a tropical wave entered the Atlantic from the west coast of Africa. Although satellite imagery noted a mid-level circulation, scatterometer data indicated that the system did not have a surface circulation. Tracking quickly westward, the system acquired sufficient convective organization and a surface circulation, and thus, it became a tropical depression at 06:00 UTC on August 13, approximately 1,015 mi (1,635 km) east of the Leeward Islands. Moving westward due to a subtropical ridge to the north, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Grace on August 14 following a significant increase in deep convection. However, dry air and the storm's quick motion caused Grace to weaken back to a tropical depression early the next day as it approached the Leeward Islands. Grace soon entered the Caribbean and initially remained weak, but the cyclone reintensified into a tropical storm on August 16. Around 16:30 UTC, the system made landfall near Oviedo, Dominican Republic, with winds of 40 mph (65 km/h), and subsequently brushed Haiti's Tiburon Peninsula.[66]

Thereafter, Grace intensified further due to low wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures. Around 14:00 UTC on August 17, the cyclone struck near Black Hill, Jamaica, with winds of 60 mph (95 km/h). Grace soon re-emerged into the Caribbean and intensified into a hurricane on the following day. At 09:45 UTC on August 19, the storm made landfall near Tulum, Quintana Roo, with winds of 85 mph (140 km/h). Grace subsequently weakened to a tropical storm before emerging into the Bay of Campeche several hours later. However, the cyclone then quickly strengthened, re-attaining hurricane status at 12:00 UTC on August 20 and becoming a major hurricane about 12 hours thereafter. Around 00:00 UTC on August 21, Grace peaked as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph (195 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 967 mbar (28.6 inHg). The system made landfall near Tecolutla, Veracruz, at 05:30 UTC. It then rapidly weakened over the mountains of central Mexico and dissipated by 18:00 UTC. However, the remnants of Grace traveled across Mexico, and contributed to the development of Tropical Storm Marty in the Eastern Pacific.[66]

Because Grace weakened to a tropical depression before reaching the Leeward Islands, only light winds and rainfall occurred there.[66] In the Dominican Republic, flooding damaged about 500 homes and displaced over 2,400 people.[67] Grace also brought flooding to Haiti – especially the Sud-Est department – just days after the country experienced a devastating earthquake. At least four fatalities occurred in Haiti, although the death toll may be higher given the short time elapsed between the storm and the earthquake. Jamaica observed sustained tropical storm-force winds, causing about 100,000 electrical customers to lose power and damaging some structures. Additionally, up to 14.07 in (357 mm) of rain fell at Bois Content, inundating more than 1,500 acres (600 ha) of banana and plantain crops and collapsing a bridge. In the Cayman Islands, tropical storm-force sustained winds and hurricane-force gusts damaged several buildings and residences and left more than 27,000 electrical customers without power on Grand Cayman alone. Grace's passage across the Yucatán Peninsula caused nearly 700,000 customers to lose electricity. High winds also downed many trees and power lines while causing minor damage to 20 schools and some other structures. The storm's second landfall in Mexico left significant impact in Hidalgo, Puebla, and Veracruz, with 110,000 homes damaged in the three states combined due to flooding, mudslides, and strong winds. Puebla and Veracruz also sustained extensive crop losses, with the latter reporting damage to about 490,000 acres (200,000 ha) of bananas, beans, citrus, and corn. Additionally, the hurricane damaged approximately 3,000 schools in Veracruz. Thirteen fatalities occurred in Mexico. Overall, Grace was responsible for 17 deaths and $513 million in damages.[66]

Hurricane Henri[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Henri 2021-08-21 1805Z.jpg Henri 2021 track.png
DurationAugust 15 – August 23
Peak intensity75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  986 mbar (hPa)

Between August 11 and August 12, a mid-level disturbance and its associated convection moved offshore the Mid-Atlantic. The system spawned a weak surface trough on August 14, which became a surface low-pressure area early the following day. After deep convection organized further, a tropical depression formed at 18:00 UTC on August 15 about 230 mi (370 km) north-northeast of Bermuda. Tracking southward due to a nearby mid-level high-pressure area, the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Henri about 24 hours later. Due to persistent wind shear, the center was consistently near the western edge of its convection. Late on August 18, however, Henri intensified into a high-end tropical storm as the convection organized and wrapped around the mid-level circulation center. For the next three days, Henri remained as a strong tropical storm whilst curving northwards as it rounded the western edge of the Azores High. At 12:00 UTC on August 21, Henri strengthened to a hurricane as shear relaxed,[68] allowing the low-level and the mid-level circulation centers to align.[69] Henri weakened to a tropical storm on August 22, shortly before making two landfalls in Rhode Island, first on Block Island and later near Westerly with winds of 65 mph (100 km/h). After landfall, Henri rapidly weakened to a tropical depression as it made a small loop. Late on August 23, Henri degenerated into a remnant low over southeastern New York. The remnant low moved eastward and dissipated in the Atlantic east of New England on the next day.[68]

Henri caused extensive flooding in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Three small tornadoes were reported in Massachusetts as the deteriorating storm moved through. Henri was responsible for two direct fatalities in North Carolina. Altogether, Henri caused an estimated $700 million in damage in the United States.[68]

Hurricane Ida[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Ida 2021-08-29 1400Z.png Ida 2021 track.png
DurationAugust 26 – September 1
Peak intensity150 mph (240 km/h) (1-min)  929 mbar (hPa)

Multiple systems, including a westward-moving tropical wave and a broad low-pressure area, began interacting in the Caribbean near the ABC islands on August 24. Convection associated with the disturbance increased and concentrated further over the next few days, resulting in the formation of a tropical depression around 12:00 UTC on August 26 just southwest of Jamaica. Six hours later, the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Ida, based on reconnaissance flight data. Moving northwestward, Ida strengthened quicker after passing the Cayman Islands, reaching hurricane status late on August 27. At 18:00 UTC, the cyclone struck Isla de la Juventud, Cuba, with winds of 80 mph (120 km/h) and then the mainland at 23:25 UTC near Playa Dayaniguas, Pinar del Río Province. After crossing Cuba and entering the Gulf of Mexico, Ida entered a region of light wind shear and water temperatures exceeding 86 °F (30 °C), resulting in rapid intensification, with the storm strengthening to a Category 2 hurricane early on August 29 and to a Category 3 hurricane within six hours as the system cleared out a warm eye. Thereafter, Ida became a Category 4 hurricane at 12:00 UTC as it neared the Louisiana coast. Simultaneously, the hurricane reached its peak intensity with maximum sustained wind speeds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a minimum barometric pressure of 929 mbar (27.4 inHg).[70]

At 16:55 UTC on August 29, Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, with sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a central pressure of 931 mbar (27.46 inHg), tying the 1856 Last Island hurricane and Hurricane Laura as the strongest landfalling hurricane on record in Louisiana, as measured by maximum sustained wind,[70] and trailing only Hurricane Katrina, as measured by central pressure at landfall.[71][non-primary source needed] Afterward, Ida weakened slowly at first, remaining a major hurricane until early the next day. As the storm moved further inland, Ida began to rapidly weaken, falling below hurricane strength around 12:00 UTC on August 30 while turning northeastward over Mississippi, before weakening to a depression at 00:00 UTC on August 31. The system became extratropical over West Virginia on September 1. Thereafter, the extratropical low briefly emerged into the Atlantic, continued northeastward into Atlantic Canada, and then stalled over the Gulf of St. Lawrence before being absorbed by another low developing to its east on September 4.[70]

As Ida's precursor tropical wave passed near the westernmost Leeward Antilles, it began to interact with a broad area of low pressure located along the northern coast of South America, triggered damaging floods and landslides across Venezuela, leading to 20 deaths. In Cuba, Ida destroyed several homes in Pinar del Río Province, contributing to the country's $250 million damage estimate. The storm caused widespread significant damage throughout coastal southeast Louisiana; parts of the New Orleans metropolitan area were left without power for several weeks. Thousands of structures suffered damage, with nearly all buildings and homes in Lafourche and Jefferson parishes sustaining some degree of impact. Damage in Louisiana alone totaled about $55 billion. Significant wind damage extended northward into southwestern Mississippi, while approximately half of Amite County lost electricity. Ida also triggered a tornado outbreak that began with numerous weak tornadoes in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. The remnants of Ida subsequently spawned several destructive tornadoes in Northeastern United States. An EF2 tornado caused considerable damage in Annapolis, Maryland, while a low-end EF2 tornado caused significant damage in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Another EF2 tornado caused a fatality in Upper Dublin Township, Pennsylvania, before a destructive EF3 tornado heavily damaged or destroyed multiple homes in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. Additionally, severe freshwater flooding impacted thousands of structures in the Northeastern United States, causing billions of dollars in damage each in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, including the shut down of most of the transportation system in New York City. Ida's winds, rains, storm surges, and tornadoes resulted in at least $75 billion in damages and 87 deaths throughout the United States. Of the deaths in the United States, 55 deaths were direct and 32 were indirect, while a majority of those fatalities occurred in Louisiana, New Jersey, and New York.[70]

Tropical Storm Kate[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Kate 2021-08-30 1130Z.jpg Kate 2021 track.png
DurationAugust 28 – September 1
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1004 mbar (hPa)

On August 22, a tropical wave exited the west coast of Africa and entered the Atlantic. The wave, accompanied by a broad area of low pressure, moved quickly to the west and west-northward, passing well south of the Cabo Verde Islands. After decelerating and curving northwestward due to a weakness in the subtropical ridge, the system organized into a tropical depression at 06:00 UTC on August 28 while situated approximately 805 mi (1,295 km) east of the Leeward Islands. The depression moved generally northward and remained weak due to strong wind shear generated by a broad mid-to-upper-level trough. A temporary burst in convection allowed the depression to intensify into Tropical Storm Kate early on August 30 and soon peak with 45 mph (75 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 1,004 mbar (29.6 inHg). However, strong wind shear and very dry mid-level air caused Kate to weaken to a tropical depression on August 31. By 18:00 UTC on September 1, Kate degenerated into a trough about 960 mi (1,545 km) northeast of the Leeward Islands. The remnants continued north-northwestward until dissipating a few days later.[72]

Tropical Storm Julian[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Julian 2021-08-29 1400Z.jpg Julian 2021 track.png
DurationAugust 28 – August 30
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  993 mbar (hPa)

On August 20 at 00:00 UTC, the NHC began monitoring a tropical wave off of the coast of Africa.[73] The wave moved northwest toward the subtropical ridge of the Atlantic, then subsequently moved north. The disturbance then moved east, acquired a low-level circulation and subsequently became a tropical depression at 18:00 UTC on August 28.[74] The next day, the depression attained wind speeds of a tropical storm, and was named Julian.[75] The storm strengthened some and accelerated to the northeast. Late on August 29, it began to interact with a deep-layer area of low pressure located just east of Newfoundland.[76] Julian underwent extratropical transition and became post-tropical by 12:00 UTC on August 30.[74]

Hurricane Larry[edit]

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Larry 2021-09-05 1040Z.png Larry 2021 track.png
DurationAugust 31 – September 11
Peak intensity125 mph (205 km/h) (1-min)  953 mbar (hPa)

On August 30, a strong tropical wave and an accompanying broad area of low pressure emerged off the west coast of Africa. Deep convection quickly began to increase around the eastern portion of the circulation as it moved over the far eastern tropical Atlantic. The system organized into a tropical depression at 18:00 UTC on August 31 while located about 320 mi (520 km) south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands. The depression intensified into Tropical Storm Larry six hours later. Located within favorable atmospheric and oceanic conditions, the cyclone steadily strengthened while moving generally westward across the Atlantic to the south of a strong mid-level ridge. A small inner-core developed late on September 1, and, by 06:00 UTC on September 2, a well-defined low- to midlevel eye feature became apparent, indicating that Larry had attained hurricane status. The storm intensified to Category 2 strength late on September 3. Then, after battling against some shear and an intrusion of dry mid-level air during an eyewall replacement cycle, Larry became a Category 3 major hurricane by 00:00 UTC September 4.[77] While maintaining Category 3 status for multiple days, Larry gained annular characteristics and completed two eyewall replacement cycles.[78][79][80][81]

Around 12:00 UTC on September 5, the hurricane peaked with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) and a minimum barometric pressure of 953 mbar (28.1 inHg).[77] However, by September 7, the eyewall became less defined as the convection decreased.[82] Early the next day, Larry weakened to a Category 2 hurricane as it began encountering decreasing sea surface temperatures. On September 9, the system weakened to a Category 1 hurricane while located roughly 285 mi (459 km) southeast of Bermuda. At 03:30 UTC on September 11, Larry made landfall in Newfoundland along Burin Peninsula. While crossing the Labrador Sea later that day, the storm transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone, which was subsequently absorbed by a larger extratropical system by early on September 12.[77]

Rough surf and rip currents generated by Larry's large wind field led to five drownings, one each in: the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Florida, and Virginia. In Newfoundland, high winds uprooted many trees, knocked down power lines and damaged some roofs. Almost 61,000 customers lost electricity, with most along the Avalon Peninsula.[77] Damages assessed on Newfoundland were estimated at $80 million.[83] The remnants of the cyclone produced snowfall totals up to 4 ft (1.2 m) and hurricane-force winds in Greenland.[77]

Tropical Storm Mindy[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Mindy 2021-09-08 2200Z.jpg Mindy 2021 track.png
DurationSeptember 8 – September 9
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

On August 22, a tropical wave and its associated broad low-pressure area exited the west coast of Africa and emerging into the Atlantic. The wave moved westward across the Atlantic for nearly a week, while a portion of it split-off and became Tropical Storm Kate on August 28. Thereafter, the system crossed the Caribbean and reached Central America by September 2. Part of the wave then detached again and contributed to the development of Hurricane Olaf in the eastern Pacific. The remainder of the wave moved slowly northwestward and reached the Gulf of Mexico on September 5. A burst in deep convection late on September 8 resulted in the formation of Tropical Storm Mindy over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Moderate wind shear and warm water temperatures allowed Mindy to peak with winds of 60 mph (95 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 1,000 mbar (30 inHg) before it made landfall on St. Vincent Island, Florida, at 01:15 UTC on the following day. Heading east-northeastward, the storm weakened to a tropical depression over southeast Georgia around 12:00 UTC and degenerated into a remnant low late on September 9 after emerging into the Atlantic. The remnant circulation merged with a baroclinic zone area on September 11.[84]

While in Mexico, the system triggered heavy rain and flooding, killing 23 people and causing $75 million in damage.[84] Tropical Storm Mindy also spawned an EF0 tornado in Florida, which only did tree damage.[85]

Hurricane Nicholas[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Nicholas 2021-09-14 0404Z.png Nicholas 2021 track.png
DurationSeptember 12 – September 15
Peak intensity75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  988 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave exited the west coast of Africa and emerged into the Atlantic on August 28. For several days, convection remained disorganized while the system trekked westward across the Atlantic and Caribbean. Although the wave struck Central America on September 9, a surface trough remained in the western Caribbean. The trough reached the Gulf of Mexico on September 11 and quickly developed a circulation and additional convection by the next day. With reconnaissance aircraft flights observing tropical storm-force winds, the system became Tropical Storm Nicholas around 12:00 UTC on September 12 over the Bay of Campeche. Despite warm seas and unstable atmospheric conditions, Nicholas only strengthened gradually due to moderate wind shear as it headed north-northwestward around a subtropical ridge. On September 13, a weakness in the ridge caused the cyclone to curve north-northeastward. Based on a weather station at Matagorda Bay reporting sustained winds of 76 mph (122 km/h), Nicholas intensified into a hurricane around 00:00 UTC on September 14. Shortly thereafter, at 05:30 UTC, Nicholas made landfall near Sargent Beach, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h). The system quickly weakened inland to tropical storm strength as it moved east-northeastward towards Galveston Bay. Around 00:00 UTC on September 15, the storm weakened to a tropical depression, approximately 18 hours prior to degenerating into a remnant low over southwestern Louisiana. The remnant low meandered over Louisiana and briefly re-emerged into the Gulf of Mexico before being absorbed by a mid-latitude trough on September 20.[86]

Nicholas produced tropical-storm force wind gusts in portions of northeastern Mexico, including a gust of 43 mph (69 km/h) in Bagdad, Tamaulipas. In Texas, strong winds, storm surge, and abnormally high tides impacted the coast, especially in Brazoria and Matagorda counties. There, the storm downed many trees, damaged or destroyed many piers and roofs, and caused severe erosion, while wave action resulted in water entering some homes. Fort Bend, Galveston, and Harris counties experienced similar impacts but to a lesser extent. Additionally, several counties in Southeast Texas reported localized and flash flooding. At least 500,000 structures in Texas lost electricity during the storm. Nicholas and its remnants also produced heavy rainfall and flooding across the Deep South, especially in Louisiana, where up to 17.29 in (439 mm) of precipitation fell in Tangipahoa Parish. Numerous road closures occurred, many of them in parts of eastern Louisiana, while water entered some homes in St. Charles Parish.[86] Further, nearly 120,000 customers lost electricity in the state.[87] Freshwater flooding caused two deaths in Alabama. Two additional fatalities occurred in Florida when rip currents swept away two people at Panama City Beach. Throughout the United States, Nicholas caused approximately $1 billion in damage.[86]

Tropical Storm Odette[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Odette 2021-09-17 1740Z.jpg Odette Atlantic 2021 track.png
DurationSeptember 17 – September 18
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1005 mbar (hPa)

On September 11, the NHC began monitoring an area of disturbed weather over the southeastern Bahamas.[88] As the system moved northwestward to north-northwestward, a low-pressure area formed well east of northeast Florida early on September 16. Despite the low having a relatively well-defined circulation, convection was disorganized and displaced from the center due to wind shear. By 18:00 UTC on September 17, the system organized into Tropical Storm Odette about 175 mi (280 km) east of the North Carolina–Virginia state line. Early on the following day, however, the cyclone was already beginning to lose tropical characteristics due to colder and drier air.[89] During this process, its deep convection was consistently displaced well to the east of a poorly-defined center due to strong westerly wind shear. The system's circulation was elongated from southwest to northeast and contained multiple low-cloud swirls.[90] Odette completed extratropical transition by 12:00 UTC on September 18, about 290 mi (465 km) east-southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The remnants of Odette retained gale-force winds and continued moving out into the central Atlantic, curving northeastward, before turning southward, making a slow counterclockwise curve before turning back south-southwestward. The extratropical low degenerated into a trough on September 27.[89] During this time, the NHC monitored Odette's remnants for the potential to redevelop into a subtropical or tropical cyclone.[91]

Tropical Storm Peter[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Peter 2021-09-19 2020Z.jpg Peter 2021 track.png
DurationSeptember 19 – September 22
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1005 mbar (hPa)

At 06:00 UTC on September 11, the NHC began monitoring a tropical wave expected to move off the west coast of Africa.[92] The wave emerged into the Atlantic between September 13 and September 14, producing a large burst of convection but lacking a closed circulation. Moving westward, convection became more concentrated over the next few days, and by late on September 18, the system acquired a closed circulation according to a NOAA buoy and satellite imagery. As a result, a tropical depression developed by 00:00 UTC on September 19 about 605 mi (975 km) east of the Leeward Islands. Six hours later, the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Peter. Relatively light wind shear and warm seas allowed Peter to reach a peak intensity with winds of 50 mph (85 km/h) and a minimum pressure of 1,005 mbar (29.7 inHg) late on September 19. However, as the storm approached the northern Leeward Islands on September 20, it encountered nearly 35 mph (55 km/h) of southwesterly wind shear from a nearby upper low. As a result, Peter's low-level center was displaced west of its showers and thunderstorms. Later on September 21, the system weakened to a tropical depression and degenerated into a trough about 230 mi (370 km) north of Puerto Rico around 00:00 UTC on September 23.[93] Although the NHC monitored the remnants due to the potential for redevelopment,[94] the system dissipated well south of Newfoundland on September 29.[93]

The system brought heavy rain showers to the northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico on September 21, as it tracked to their north. In Puerto Rico, the towns of Lares and Morovis both observed up to 3.76 in (96 mm) of precipitation, although parts of the former may have experienced rainfall totals up to 5 to 6 in (130 to 150 mm).[93]

Tropical Storm Rose[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Rose 2021-09-20 1550Z.jpg Rose 2021 track.png
DurationSeptember 19 – September 22
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  1004 mbar (hPa)

At 00:00 UTC on September 15, the National Hurricane Center began monitoring a tropical wave approaching the Atlantic coast of Africa.[95] After moving into the far eastern tropical Atlantic, it formed a low pressure center, though it remained disorganized. By 03:00 UTC on September 19, the disturbance had acquired a well-defined circulation and enough organized deep convection for it to be designated a tropical depression.[96] Later that day, satellite images showed that the deep convection had increased within the cyclone and that its overall structure had continued to improve. As a result, the cyclone was upgraded to a tropical storm and given the name Rose.[97] As the storm moved northwestward over the eastern tropical Atlantic between September 20 and 21, it was beset by high wind shear, leaving its low-level circulation center exposed and all of the heavy thunderstorm activity confined to the east side of the center.[98] Early on September 22, Rose weakened to a tropical depression,[99] and degenerated into a remnant low later that day.

Hurricane Sam[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Sam 2021-09-26 1625Z.jpg Sam 2021 track.png
DurationSeptember 22 – October 5
Peak intensity155 mph (250 km/h) (1-min)  927 mbar (hPa)

On September 19, a tropical wave moved off the west coast of Africa and into the Atlantic. The wave consisted of fairly concentrated convective activity as it moved westward to the south of the Capo Verde Islands on the following day. By 18:00 UTC on September 22, the wave organized enough to become a tropical depression approximately 660 mi (1,060 km) west-southwest of Cabo Verde's southernmost islands. The depression intensified into Tropical Storm Sam around 06:00 UTC on September 23. Thereafter, very low wind shear and warm waters allowed Sam to reach hurricane status about 24 hours later as it tracked westward to west-northward along the eastern periphery of a mid-tropospheric anticyclone. Intensification then briefly ceased, but by 12:00 UTC on September 25, Sam reached Category 3 hurricane status. Satellite images showed a well-defined eye embedded in a developing central dense overcast, and following an increase in Dvorak intensity estimates, Sam became a Category 4 hurricane late on September 25.[100]

The NHC estimated that the cyclone reached its peak intensity around 18:00 UTC on September 26, with the storm likely attaining maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (250 km/h) and a minimum barometric pressure of 927 mbar (27.4 inHg), making Sam a high-end Category 4 hurricane. However, Sam then briefly weakened to a Category 3 hurricane due to an eyewall replacement cycle and a slight increase in wind shear, before re-strengthening back to a Category 4 hurricane at 06:00 UTC on September 28. Moving northwestward over warm waters near 84 °F (29 °C), Sam reached its secondary peak on October 1 with sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h). After a mid-level ridge to the storm's northeast moved eastward, Sam accelerated north-northeastward and then northward, passing east of Bermuda on October 2. Around this time, the cyclone gradually began to weaken as it tracked over cooler sea surface temperatures and fell below major hurricane intensity on the following day. Consequently, the hurricane's cloud pattern degraded on October 4 and Sam weakened to Category 1 strength around 18:00 UTC that day. Early on October 5, Sam transitioned into an extratropical cyclone well east of Newfoundland after its convective activity became asymmetrical and elongated. The extratropical low briefly executed a cyclonic loop before continuing northeastward. Early on October 7, another extratropical low absorbed the remnants of Sam to the southwest of Iceland.[100]

Sam brought dangerous swells, mainly on the East Coast of the U.S., although Sam was 900 miles from the coast of the U.S.[101] Although Sam passed well east of Bermuda, however, it brought tropical-storm force winds to the island.[102] Additionally, as Sam tracked to the north, snow was expected in Iceland as a result.[103]

Subtropical Storm Teresa[edit]

Subtropical storm (SSHWS)
99L 2021-09-24 1710Z.jpg Teresa 2021 track.png
DurationSeptember 24 – September 25
Peak intensity45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1008 mbar (hPa)

A weak cold front first began pushing into the western Atlantic on September 19. As this front interacted with an upper-level low moving in from the west, it generated an area of disturbed weather, with increasing convection located near a developing surface center. That disturbance, nestled underneath the upper-level low, developed into a subtropical depression around 06:00 UTC on September 24 while located about 175 mi (280 km) east-southeast of Bermuda. Over the next 12 hours, the depression intensified into Subtropical Storm Teresa and reached peak winds of 45 mph (75 km/h). As the cyclone moved northwest but then veered northeast, it encountered dry air and wind shear promptly causing it to weaken. Teresa degenerated to a remnant low around 18:00 UTC on September 25. The low weakened to a trough the next day, and that trough was absorbed by a frontal system on September 27.[104]

Tropical Storm Victor[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Victor 2021-10-01 1540Z.jpg Victor 2021 track.png
DurationSeptember 29 – October 4
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  997 mbar (hPa)

A vigorous tropical wave moved off Africa on September 27 and swiftly organized into a tropical depression around 12:00 UTC on September 29. At that time, the system was located about 535 mi (860 km) south of Cabo Verde. The newly formed cyclone moved west-northwest on the south side of a ridge. While ocean temperatures and wind shear values were conducive, the storm was surrounded by some dry air that intermittently became entrained into its circulation. The depression intensified into Tropical Storm Victor at 18:00 UTC on September 29 and reached peak winds of 65 mph (100 km/h) about two days later. As Victor turned northwest, it encountered starkly higher wind shear which resulted in its weakening. Its convection became displaced and its low-level circulation elongated, which led to its degeneration to a trough around 12:00 UTC on October 4. The remnants turned west and dissipated over the open Atlantic the next day.[105]

Tropical Storm Wanda[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Wanda 2021-11-03 1340Z.jpg Wanda 2021 track.png
DurationOctober 30 – November 7
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  983 mbar (hPa)

On October 24, the NHC began monitoring a non-tropical disturbance just off East Coast of the U.S., anticipating that it would shortly develop into a strong low-pressure system, a nor'easter, as it moved northward up the coast, and then possibly develop tropical or subtropical characteristics afterward while moving away from the coast.[106][107] After bringing heavy rainfall, damaging winds, and coastal flooding to areas in the Northeast U.S. between October 25 and 27, the storm acquired subtropical characteristics early on October 31, while located over the central Atlantic, and was given the name Wanda.[108] By 12:00 UTC on November 1, the system had transitioned to a tropical storm.[109] After meandering several hundred nautical miles west of the Azores for nearly a week, Wanda weakened and began accelerating northeastward late on November 6, as it interacted with a deepening mid-latitude low pressure system over the northern Atlantic.[110] The next day, its low level circulation ceased generating deep convection and the north side began opening-up into a trough due to interaction with the other system.[111] As a result, Wanda was deemed by the NHC to have become a post-tropical low at 12:00 UTC.[109]

The precursor to Wanda caused over $200 million in damages across the Northeastern U.S.,[108] and two storm-related deaths were reported.[112] There were no reports of damage or deaths associated with Wanda itself, after it transitioned into a subtropical storm.

Storm names[edit]

The following list of names was used for named storms that formed in the North Atlantic in 2021.[113] This was the same list used in the 2015 season, with the exceptions of Elsa and Julian, which replaced Erika and Joaquin, respectively. The names Elsa, Julian, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda were used for the first time this year.

  • Odette
  • Peter
  • Rose
  • Sam
  • Teresa
  • Victor
  • Wanda

Retirement[edit]

On April 27, 2022, at the 44th Session of the RA IV Hurricane Committee, the World Meteorological Organization retired the name Ida from its rotating name lists due to the catastrophic damages it caused, and it will never be used again for another Atlantic hurricane. It will be replaced with Imani for the 2027 season.[114]

Season effects[edit]

This is a table of all of the storms that formed in the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. It includes their duration, names, damages, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect (an example of an indirect death would be a traffic accident), but were still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave, or a low, and all of the damage figures are in 2021 USD.

Saffir–Simpson scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
2021 North Atlantic tropical cyclone season statistics
Storm
name
Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
wind
mph (km/h)
Min.
press.
(mbar)
Areas affected Damage
(USD)
Deaths Ref(s)


Ana May 22–23 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1004 Bermuda None None
Bill June 14–15 Tropical storm 65 (100) 992 East Coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada None None
Claudette June 19–22 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1003 Southern Mexico, Southern United States, Atlantic Canada $375 million 4 (10) [49]
Danny June 27–29 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1009 South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina $5,000 None [51]
Elsa June 30 – July 9 Category 1 hurricane 85 (140) 991 Lesser Antilles, Venezuela, Greater Antilles, South Atlantic United States, Northeastern United States, Atlantic Canada, Greenland, Iceland $1.2 billion 13 [62][63]
Fred August 11–17 Tropical storm 65 (100) 991 Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, The Bahamas, Southeastern United States, Eastern Great Lakes Region, Northeastern United States, Southern Quebec, Atlantic Canada $1.3 billion 6 (1) [64]
Grace August 13–21 Category 3 hurricane 120 (195) 967 Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Yucatan Peninsula, Central Mexico $513 million 16 (1) [66]
Henri August 15–23 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 986 Bermuda, Northeastern United States, Southern Nova Scotia $700 million 2 [68]
Ida August 26 – September 1 Category 4 hurricane 150 (240) 929 Venezuela, Colombia, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Southern United States, Northeastern United States, Atlantic Canada ≥ $75.25 billion 55 (52) [70]
Kate August 28 – September 1 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1004 None None None
Julian August 28–30 Tropical storm 60 (95) 993 None None None
Larry August 31 – September 11 Category 3 hurricane 125 (205) 953 Lesser Antilles, Bermuda, East Coast of the United States, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Greenland $80 million 5 [83][77]
Mindy September 8–9 Tropical storm 60 (95) 1000 Colombia, Central America, Yucatán Peninsula, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina $75 million 0 (23) [84]
Nicholas September 12–15 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 988 Mexico, Gulf Coast of the United States $1  billion 2 (2) [86]
Odette September 17–18 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1005 East Coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada None None
Peter September 19–22 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1005 Hispaniola, Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico None None
Rose September 19–22 Tropical storm 60 (95) 1004 None None None
Sam September 22 – October 5 Category 4 hurricane 155 (250) 927 West Africa, Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Iceland Unknown None
Teresa September 24–25 Subtropical storm 45 (75) 1008 Bermuda None None
Victor September 29 – October 4 Tropical storm 65 (100) 997 None None None
Wanda October 30 – November 7 Tropical storm 60 (95) 983 Southern United States, Mid-Atlantic states, Northeastern United States, Bermuda, Atlantic Canada >$200 million 0 (2) [108][112]
Season aggregates
21 systems May 22 – November 7   155 (230) 927 >$80.683 billion 103 (91)  

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ An average Atlantic hurricane season, as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has fourteen tropical storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.[3]
  2. ^ Hurricanes reaching Category 3 (111 miles per hour or 179 kilometers per hour) and higher on the five-level Saffir–Simpson wind speed scale are considered major hurricanes.[3]
  3. ^ September 10 is the climatological mid-point of the Atlantic hurricane season.[36]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]