The SWS 2021 Hurricane Hub will be updated frequently as SWS editors track hurricane news and its impact on the storm water industry
The latest news and updates on the 2021 hurricane season and how storms are affecting the storm water industry. The official Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, but May 15 was deemed the unofficial start to the 2021 season.
Updated: Monday, Sept. 20; 8:16 a.m. CT
Three Weeks After Hurricane Ida, Parts of Southeast Louisiana Are Still Dark (New York Times)
September 20 – "As businesses and schools have reopened in New Orleans, ongoing power outages in communities just beyond the city put recovery out of reach."
EPA Tools for Communities Cleaning Up after Hurricane Ida (SWS)
September 17 – "The U.S. EPA offered tips and tools for communities after Hurricane Ida for cleanup. Cleanup activities related to returning to homes and businesses after a disaster can pose significant health and environmental challenges. Use caution to assure that all waste materials are removed and disposed of properly, following local guidelines."
Bucks County Infrastructure took $12.5M Hit in Ida damages; Montco Announces Relief Fund (Courier Times)
September 16 – "...Bucks County officials said Wednesday the preliminary storm damage estimate to public infrastructure within the county has increased, and now stands at $12.5 million. The county itself saw over $1 million in damage to its parks, roads, bridges and other county-owned facilities, officials said Wednesday."
'Take This Storm Seriously': Louisiana to Get More Torrential Rains From Nicholas as 100K Still Without Power in Texas (USA Today)
September 15 – "More than 100,000 Texas homes and businesses remained without power for a second day Wednesday as the remnants of Hurricane Nicholas slid across the Gulf Coast from the Lone Star State into Louisiana, drenching a region still staggering from Hurricane Ida's wrath less than three weeks ago."
In Ida's Wake, Advocates Stress Need for Stronger Investment in Gulf Communities' Infrastructure (Houma Today)
September 13 – "The United Houma Nation's chief is joining others from Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Ida in calling for immediate changes to disaster recovery and climate policies."
U.S. Oil Losses from Hurricane Ida Rank Among Worst in 16 Years (Reuters)
September 10 – "Hurricane Ida's damage to U.S. offshore energy production makes it one of the most costly since back-to-back storms in 2005 cut output for months, according to the latest data and historical records."
Hurricane Olaf Heading Toward Mexico's Los Cabos Resorts (ABC News)
September 9 – "Hurricane Olaf was heading toward a strike on the Los Cabos resort region at the tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula on Thursday. As the storm approached, authorities closed ports in the area, prepared temporary shelters and urged people to monitor public announcements."
Asian Crop Importers Brace for Delays After Hurricane Ida Hits U.S. Export Hub (NASDAQ)
September 8 – "Asia's grain and oilseed buyers are set to face shipping delays of at least one month after Hurricane Ida damaged key export terminals around the U.S. Gulf Coast, two traders and one miller said."
It's the Peak of Atlantic Hurricane Season This Week, But There's Still a Long Way to Go (The Weather Channel)
September 7 – "Friday marks the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. It's when the Atlantic Basin has had the most hurricanes and named storms over the course of history."
New York & New Jersey Face Flash Flood Emergency After Hurricane Ida (SWS)
September 2 – "The National Weather Service Office serving New York City issued a Flash Flood Emergency Aug. 1 evening, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which sent dangerous downpours to the city."
Hurricane Ida Aftermath: Here's How Climate Change is Making Hurricanes More Devastating (ABC News)
September 1 – "While the overall number of hurricanes is not likely to increase as a consequence of global warming, researchers believe that over time, the storms that generate will get stronger and more intense."
Ida Now a Tropical Storm (SWS)
August 30 – "More than 1 million people in Louisiana and Mississippi are without power Aug. 30 morning as Tropical Storm Ida moves out of Louisiana and into Mississippi."
Atlantic Ocean Surface Temperatures Ideal for Hurricane Season (CBS 17)
August 26 – "Currently, there’s a finger of warm water running up the East Coast that is known as the Gulf Stream. It runs parallel to the US and aids in hurricane development. Water temperatures near Beaufort, North Carolina, for example, are at 85 degrees."
How Many 'Natural' Disasters Can One City Endure? (National Geographic)
August 25 – "Lake Charles’ experience is also emblematic of something larger: the riskier future that a growing number of communities face as a result of climate change—coastal communities in Louisiana and elsewhere confronting rising seas, mountain towns out West facing longer and more destructive fire seasons, inland communities everywhere, from Tennessee to Germany, facing intense rains and flooding without the infrastructure to protect them."
Tropical Disturbance May Reach Gulf of Mexico (SWS)
August 24 – "The disturbance is expected to move northwest across the Caribbean, across the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico and then into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico by Aug. 29."
Henri’s Remnants To Bring One Last Round Of Heavy Rain To Massachusetts Monday (CBS Boston)
August 23 – "The heaviest rainfall from here on out will occur in western New England and eastern New York, to the left side of Henri’s track. Parts of that area will receive 5-to-10 inches of rain when all is said and done."
Grace Lashes Mexico; Tropical Storm Henri to Strengthen as It Nears East Coast (USA Today)
August 20 – "Hurricane Grace made landfall Thursday in Mexico, bringing heavy rains and harsh winds to the Yucatan Peninsula as it tore the roofs off some homes, knocked out power to thousands and kept tourists off the region's white sand beaches. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Henri looms out in the Atlantic, threatening the Northeast coast by the weekend or early next week."
Peak Hurricane Season and How Technology Advances Tracking (Bay News 9)
August 19 – "Before the satellite era, forecasting in the Atlantic Basin had to rely only on ships and actual witnesses to storms. Today, computer models can detect a multitude of storm details, including storm intensity, potential tracks, wind speed, pressure and how fast a storm is moving and in which direction."
Grace Restrengthens Into a Tropical Storm as it Threatens the Caribbean with Flooding and Mudslides (CNN)
August 17 – "Grace, once more at tropical storm strength, was bringing heavy rain Tuesday afternoon to earthquake-shattered Haiti, Jamaica and eastern Cuba. The center of Grace will move over Jamaica with tropical storm-force winds, strong surf and flooding rains, the National Hurricane Center said."
La Niña is Likely to Form, Raising Concerns of Increased Hurricane Activity, Just Like in 2020 (CNN)
August 16 – "The chances of La Niña weather patterns occurring have now increased just weeks before peak hurricane season in the Atlantic, which forecasters say could lead to a very busy rest of the season."
Tropical Storm Fred forms in Atlantic; Florida Keeping a Watchful Eye on System's Path Later This Week (USA Today)
August 11 – "Tropical Storm Fred developed just south of Puerto Rico late Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center confirmed, heading for the Dominican Republic and Haiti, with forecasters warning that its heavy rains could cause dangerous flooding and mudslides."
Potential Tropical Cyclone 6 to Strengthen Into Tropical Storm, Could Impact South Florida (WPBF)
August 10 – "The National Hurricane Center is following Potential Tropical Cyclone Six, which is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm Tuesday. According to the National Hurricane Center, "PTC 6" is located about 150 miles southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It's moving west-northwest at 18 mph."
The Tropical Atlantic is Coming Back to Life, Just In Time for Peak Hurricane Season (CNN)
August 9 – "Peak hurricane season is right around the corner, and forecasters are calling for another very busy season. There are currently three different tropical disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean."
NOAA Updates Hurricane Outlook, Predicts More Storms in 2021 (SWS)
August 5 – "There is a 65% chance of an above-average season, with a 70% probability of 15–21 named storms."
Atlantic Hurricane Season is About to Become More Active Than First Forecast (CNN)
August 5 – "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has doubled down on its initial seasonal forecast issued in May by announcing Wednesday that the season will continue to be above-average. Forecaster's confidence has increased and the probability of an above-normal season has risen from 60% to 65%, leaving only a 10% probability of a below-normal season and a 25% probability of a normal season.
One-third of hurricane season is over, but the peak is yet to come (WTSP)
August 4 – "CSU is now predicting 20 named storms, with nine of them becoming hurricanes. Four of those storms are expected to become major hurricanes, which is category three or above.The original 2021 hurricane forecast by CSU in June called for 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes."
Louisiana Announces Start of Construction on West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project
August 3 - "Louisiana's Gov. Edwards joined the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) along with federal, state, and local officials for a groundbreaking ceremony on the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection system."
The Hurricane Season Typically Becomes More Active in August (Bay News 9)
August 2 – "Elsa became post-tropical on July 9, and since then, no tropical depression or named storm has formed in the Atlantic Basin. That is likely to change in the coming weeks. The reason? August is historically the month the tropical Atlantic begins kicking into high gear."
For Heart of Hurricane Season, Drone Boats Sent from Jacksonville to Face Storms' Fury (The Florida Times-Union)
July 29 – "But for the next three months, the autonomous unmanned vessels will be relaying measurements of heat exchanges between the ocean and atmosphere — the fuel that strengthens hurricanes — that before now had to be collected in person."
Breakdown: Why Hurricanes Aren't Just a Coastal Problem (Action News 5)
July 26 – "The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season is officially under way, and with the forecast for another above-normal year, now is the time to prepare.Those who live in hurricane prone areas understand how intense these storms can be, and these tropical systems have multiple threats. While many of us picture wind and storm surge at the coast, the risk from hurricanes extends inland."
Grant Program to Help Prepare SC Homes for Hurricanes, High Winds (WBTW)
July 22 – "Officials with the South Carolina Department of Insurance said the grant funds from this program are designed to help homeowners along the coast retro-fit their homes to prepare them for hurricanes and high-wind damage."
Tropics Watch: Atlantic Basin Remains Quiet, With No Tropical Cyclones Expected Over Next 5 Days (News-Press)
July 21 – "All remains quiet in the Atlantic basin, with no tropical cyclones expected over the next five days, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center."
Hurricane Felicia Weakens as it Moves Towards West Pacific
July 19 – A small hurricane, Felicia, which is far off in the East Pacific, has continued to weaken as it moves west toward the Central Pacific, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Felicia Strengthens Into a Hurricane in East Pacific (Honolulu Star Advertiser)
July 15 – "There are no current coastal watches or warnings in effect, but forecasters are keeping an eye on Felicia for the next few days."
Tampa & St. Petersburg, Florida, Avoid Sewage Incidents during Tropical Storm Elsa
July 14 – Neither Tampa nor St. Petersburg, Florida, had any sewage incidents during Tropical Storm Elsa.
At $1.5 Billion in Damage, This was the Sleeper Hurricane of Record-breaking 2020 (Nola.com)
July 12 – "Hurricane Zeta might have been dismissed as a “minor” Category 1 storm when it raked New Orleans and Slidell in late October. Turns out it was Louisiana's economic damage surprise of the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic Basin hurricane season, costing the state’s government, insurers and property owners $1.5 billion, according to a new analysis by the National Centers for Environmental Information."
Hurricane Forecasters Now Predict More 2021 Storms (Local10.com)
July 9 - After Elsa become the first hurricane of 2021 and the earliest “E” storm in Atlantic basin history, experts are upping their projections for this season.
Tropical Storm Elsa Soaking the Southeast; Watches Extended to Long Island, New England (Weather.com)
July 8 - Tropical Storm Elsa is tracking through the Southeast U.S. after its Florida landfall, and will spread heavy rain, gusty winds and the threat of a few tornadoes up the East Coast through Friday.
Tropical Storm Elsa Forecasted to Impact Florida
July 6 - President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Florida due to the storm and Governor Ron DeSantis also declared a state of emergency in 15 counties.
Elsa Becomes First Hurricane of 2021 Atlantic Season; Florida in Path Early Next Week (USA Today)
July 2 – "Tropical Storm Elsa strengthened into the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic storm season on Friday, threatening to unleash flooding and landslides in the Caribbean. The storm could impact Florida early next week and officials are urging residents to make preparations."
Hurricane Season: Tropical Storm Elsa Path and Predicted Track (The Palm Beach Post)
July 1 – "Elsa became the earliest E storm on record, beating out Edouard, which formed July 6, 2020. Elsa is the fifth tropical storm of the season in the Atlantic."
Study Focuses on The Effects of Hurricane Irma
June 29 - "A paper published by an East Carolina University researcher in the Department of Coastal Studies studied the effect human-made infrastructure and natural topography has on coastal wetlands after major storm events."
Tropical Storm Danny Weakens After Making Landfall in South Carolina (NBC News)
June 29 – "Tropical Storm Danny made landfall in South Carolina on Monday night, bringing heavy rains to parts of the southeast, forecasters said. Danny came ashore just north of Hilton Head, on the state's southern coast, the National Hurricane Center said in an 8 p.m. advisory."
Hurricane Enrique to Weaken on Monday, Mexico at Risk of Flash Floods (Reuters)
June 28- "However, Enrique is still expected to produce 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) of rain through to Tuesday, and in some places as much as 18 inches (46 cm) over Colima and coastal sections of Michoacan, Jalisco and Guerrero states, NHC said."
Tiny Satellites Could Help Warn of the Next Big Hurricane (Wired)
June 25 – "That’s the thinking behind Tropics, a first-of-its-kind nanosatellite project expected to launch its first qualification unit on Monday from Cape Canaveral aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The constellation will ultimately consist of 7 small satellites that will monitor Earth’s tropical zone, which spans about 40 degrees of latitude to the north and south of the equator."
Hurricane Season Could Threaten Beach Erosion Again After Recent Restoration (ABC 12)
June 24 – "The Crystal Coast just finished the nearly three-year $85 million beach restoration project from hurricane Florence in 2018, but now has its focus on the shore impacts for the year ahead."
Claudette Re-strengthens Into Tropical Storm; Hurricane Center Spots New Wave in Atlantic (Orlando Sentinel)
June 21 – "Claudette re-strengthened into a tropical storm Monday morning before pummeling North Carolina with rain, as the National Hurricane Center also identified a tropical wave with the potential to become the next named storm of the year."
Tropical Storm Likely to Hit U.S. This Week as Hurricane Season Gets Off to an Active Start (CNBC)
June 18 – "The first tropical system of the Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to make landfall in the U.S. by the end of the week, according to the National Hurricane Center, possibly bringing heavy rain and flooding from the Texas coast to the Florida Panhandle."
Tropical Storm Bill Strengthens, But Is Expected to Fizzle, Hurricane Center Watching Two Other Atlantic Systems (Orlando Sentinel)
June 15 – "Tropical Storm Bill strengthened again Tuesday morning as it continued its northern journey away from the United States, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. update."
Tropical Depression Forms Off North Carolina, Could Strengthen to Tropical Storm Bill (USA Today)
June 14 – "A tropical depression formed off the North Carolina coast Monday and was poised to become the second named storm of what could develop into a surly 2021 Atlantic hurricane season."
Texas Prepares for Hurricane Season as Lawmakers Tout Coastal Protection Plan (KXAN)
June 8 – "During the regular legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill to create a Gulf Coast Protection District to take charge of planning for and constructing a coastal barrier to protect against storm surge. Senate Bill 1160 also creates framework for approval of coastal projects recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers."
Hurricane Season is Forecast to be Above Average. So are the Hurricane Forecasts. (CNN)
June 7 – "During the record 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, something happened that many people overlooked -- hurricane forecasts improved. And that saved lives. With another active hurricane season expected, that's great news. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) believes it can build upon last year's success thanks to a targeted initiative, new strategies and updates to long-standing computer models."
NOAA Develops New Drone Technology to Improve Hurricane Forecasting (WTOC)
June 7 – "Dropsondes have been used to gather weather data inside and around hurricanes since the 1960s. This is a proven technique, but NOAA has been working with the Navy and NASA to move a step forward in gathering even more data inside hurricanes."
Charleston County Officials Prepare for Weather Emergencies as Hurricane Season Takes Off (The Post and Courier)
June 3 – "It was Day Two of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season and officials had already stormed into emergency management mode."
The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins Today. Here Are The 21 Storm Names (NPR)
June 2 – "The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins Tuesday, June 1, and the National Hurricane Center has designated 21 storm names for the six-month period ending November 30."
Pumps, People and Backup Power: Jefferson Parish Prepared for Hurricane Season, Leaders Say (Nola.com)
May 26 – "Parish Drainage Director Mitch Theriot said that 194 of the parish's 195 pumps are operational. The one that is down is out long-term, but the parish has placed temporary pumps at its location to lessen the impact of the missing pump."
Biden Doubles FEMA Spending to $1 Billion for Extreme Weather Disaster Preparedness
May 26 – "President Joe Biden announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would double funding to help the U.S. prepare for extreme weather disasters."
NOAA Predicts Another Active Atlantic Hurricane Season (NOAA)
"NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season."
The National Hurricane Center is Already Watching a Potential Storm in the Atlantic (CNN)
"Hurricane season could begin before its official start for a seventh year in a row in the Atlantic Ocean, as the National Hurricane Center monitors a developing weather system that could become this season's first named storm."
A Bad Hurricane Season Could be the Next Headache for Businesses Already Facing a Supply Shortage (Business Insider)
“Items from lumber and housing supplies, to toilet paper and tampons, to gas and plastics, to pork and chicken, have been plagued by shortages caused by a sting of factors: Supply chains snarled in the coronavirus pandemic, backed-up ports, reverberations from the February Texas freeze, the Suez Canal blockage, worker scarcity, and the temporary shutdown of a vital oil pipeline, among other issues.”
La Niña is Dead, which is Good News for Hurricane Season (News4Jax)
La Niña is the phase of cooler water in the Pacific Ocean. It is responsible for weather connections around the globe, one of which can enhance Atlantic hurricane activity like the record 30 storms we had in 2020.
In Texas, Biden's Infrastructure Plan Raises Hope of an 'Ike Dike' to Protect Against Hurricanes (NBC News)
“Last August, when initial forecasts projected that Hurricane Laura could slam into the Houston region as a massive Category 4 storm, local emergency response officials panicked. For years, experts have warned that a direct strike from a storm of that severity could send a 25-foot wall of water up the Houston Ship Channel, unleashing a humanitarian, economic and environmental disaster in a densely populated region that’s also home to the country’s largest concentration of petrochemical facilities.”
3 Key Changes Coming for Atlantic Hurricane Season (ABC 13)
“In the wake of 2020's record-smashing hurricane season, there are three key changes you need to know about regarding the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season.”
Hurricane Forecasts to Begin May 15, but Season Start Date Remains June 1 (The Palm Beach Post)
“The National Hurricane Center will start issuing regular storm forecasts for the Atlantic basin on May 15 this year, but June 1 remains the official start date of the hurricane season.”