NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center announced Friday that beginning this year, the average amount of hurricanes for the Atlantic hurricane season is going up.

This is not an outlook for 2021, it’s the “new normal” which is adjusted once every decade. The numbers will be used to determine whether a season will be above, near, or below average.

“This update allows our meteorologists to make forecasts for the hurricane season with the most relevant climate statistics taken into consideration,” said Michael Farrar, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction. 

The new average named storms for the Atlantic hurricane season is 14, seven of which are hurricanes, and 3 are major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5).

Image courtesy of NOAA

NOAA says that the increase in averages may be because of the overall observing platforms. It also may be because of the warming ocean and atmosphere influenced by climate change.

The average for the Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific basins will remain the same.

NOAA is planning on releasing its initial outlook for the 2021 hurricane season in late May.