2021 hurricane season begins: 'Above average' storm expectations
ORLANDO, Fla. - Another hurricane season is here.
The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season begins Tuesday and runs through November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted an ‘above average’ season with 13 to 20 total named storms, so it's a good idea to be prepared.
The agency predicted that six to 10 of those storms were likely to become hurricanes, with wind speeds of 74 mph or higher. We already saw the first named storm form before the season began.
Tropical Storm Ana formed near Bermuda. This is the 7th year in a row a storm has developed in the Atlantic ahead of the official start of hurricane season.
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According to NOAA data collected from 1851 through last year, 40% of all U.S. hurricanes hit the state of Florida and 88% of major hurricane strikes have hit either Florida or Texas.
North Carolina and Louisiana also top the list of the most direct hits on the mainland U.S. coastline – though Puerto Rico is not included in those figures.
FOX 35 Storm Team Meteorologist Kristin Giannas says on this first day of the season, so far so good.
"We are seeing pretty quiet conditions out there in the Atlantic basin. We are not expecting any type of development in the next five days."
If you still need to stock up on supplies, you have less than a week left to take advantage of the first of Florida's three sales tax holidays.
Florida's Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday is ongoing and allows shoppers to skip the tax on hurricane supplies like flashlights, batteries, and more.
Items that are tax-free include:
- Portable generators – $1,000 or less
- Tarps, bungee cords, ratchet straps, tie down kits, and plastic sheeting – $100 or less
- Coolers and power banks – $60 or less
- Batteries – $50 dollars or less
- Candles, flashlights, and lanterns – $40 dollars or less
You can find a complete list of items HERE. The tax-free holiday runs until Sunday, June 6.
RELATED: These locations named most at risk for 2021 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricanes largely form in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico as temperatures continue to warm, then move west.
NOAA said the most hurricane-prone month is September, with as many major hurricane landfalls as August and October combined. Texas and Louisiana are "prime targets" for pre-August major hurricanes, the agency said.
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Comparatively, most major October hurricanes occur in southern Florida. To date, Florida has been hit by about 120 recorded hurricanes.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates on hurricane season.