Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The number of hurricanes in an Atlantic season is based on average changes in temperature, wind and other factors
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced the names for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
It is one of the most popular and long-running weather names, with people across the world using the program as a way to predict a season’s potential impact.
Hurricane forecasters have warned that the season is set to be one of the “most active” in years.
The official start of the season is 6 June.
The announcement of the names for the next Atlantic season is timed with the anniversary of 20 April, the day Harvey left 35 dead and caused widespread damage in Texas and Louisiana.
The number of hurricanes in an Atlantic season is based on average changes in temperature, wind and other factors.
Atlantic ‘most active’
The total number of active years since 1851 stands at 22, with only five years with fewer than 12 named storms.
Florida is one of the most vulnerable to hurricanes and it was badly hit by Hurricane Irma last year, which resulted in about £58bn in insured losses.
Nick Vardamis, head of NOAA’s NOAA Weather Prediction Center, told BBC News that 2018 was a year of record activity in the Atlantic.
“2019 will also be unusually active, while the rest of the season will be more like average, so the most active will be in year five,” he said.
2017 saw 17 named storms, of which 11 became hurricanes and six of those became Category 3 or stronger, according to NOAA data.
All told, the full 2019 season is expected to have between 12 and 19 named storms.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Hurricanes can cause widespread damage when they make landfall
The number of hurricanes could also be higher than usual because of the development of warm and moist ocean waters in the eastern and central Atlantic.
“With the warm water we’re seeing in the central Atlantic, things look good,” said Professor Mark Hanna, from the University of Miami in Florida.
“I think we’re going to have a reasonably active season and a few major hurricanes.
“This is a year of more intensity so the storms will have to be more massive and more powerful to hit land.”
However, while a lot of attention has been given to hurricane-related bad news in recent years, severe weather causes much more damage elsewhere in the world.
“It’s important to keep the disasters in perspective,” said Professor Hanna.
“Humanity has seen a good deal of global climate change, but the impacts of climate change have also turned out to be less bad than we expected, whereas it was much more bad than bad,” he said.
“Let’s acknowledge the good times, keep the bad times in perspective.”