The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting an above average 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season, with the possibility of an extremely active season, on the stormy heels of a record 2020.
NOAA’s outlook, released May 20, 2021, says there is a 60 percent chance of an above normal season, with a 30 percent chance of a near-normal season, and just 10 percent chance of below-normal activity.
While there were 30 named storms in 2020 with a record 11 making landfall in the United States, NOAA is projecting the possibility in 2021 for the Atlantic hurricane region which includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico:
- 13 to 20 named storms
- 6 to 10 hurricanes
- 3 to 5 major hurricanes
The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, with peak activity typically occurring from August to October.
2020 Was a Record Hurricane Season
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record, and the fifth costliest Atlantic hurricane season ever.
“The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season ramped up quickly and broke records across the board,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D, acting NOAA administrator.
The final tally from 2020, fueled by a La Niña that developed in the summer months, included:
- 31 (sub)tropical cyclones, all but one which became named storms.
- 14 of the 30 named storms developed into hurricanes.
- A record-tying 7 of the 14 hurricanes intensified into major hurricanes.
- 11 of the 30 named storms made landfall in the contiguous United States, breaking the record of 9 set in 1916.
- 27 of the tropical storms established a new record for the earliest formation by storm number.
The above-average 2020 hurricane season continued a weather trend as it was the fifth straight year with above average hurricane activity and 18 of the last 26 years above average.
Houston and Texas Always in Hurricane Crosshairs
The Houston area, and the rest of the Texas coastline, always must keep an eye on the sky during the Atlantic Hurricane season.
While 2020 for Houston and Texas did not bring devastation such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017, there were still storms that made landfall including:
- July 2020: Hurricane Hanna made landfall on South Padre Island and then a second Texas landfall at Port Mansfield.
- September 2020: Tropical Storm Beta made landfall near Port O’Connor on the Matagorda Peninsula.
When storms do threaten the Houston area like last August when two active storms were brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, PS Lightwave activates its Disaster Recovery Plan.
“Our Disaster Response Planning Committee continues to meet daily and will escalate our response if the conditions warrant it,” PS Lightwave notified customers. “Conditions are subject to change, and we will be monitoring the progress and continue to follow the actions prescribed in our Disaster Recovery plan, including proactively monitoring and taking all necessary steps to safeguard our network and your connectivity.”
PS Lightwave’s NOC is the Hub for Disaster Response
The nerve center for PS Lightwave’s disaster response is the Network Operations Center (NOC, pronounced “Knock”).
“It starts with a plan and then you need to be prepared to execute it,” said Rhonda Cook, CEO and founder of PS Lightwave. “We review and revise our Disaster Recovery plan prior to every hurricane season.”
PS Lightwave’s NOC is always on standby and ready for potential natural disasters, especially during the Atlantic hurricane season.
NOC staff monitor the progress of any potential storms and then take necessary steps to safeguard the network and connectivity of customers and clients.
“Our Network Operations Center is a group here at PS Lightwave that has a lot of responsibility including monitoring our network and interacting with our clients and customers,” said Swen Wulf, Senior Director of Network Operations, PS Lightwave.
PS Lightwave’s NOC, located near the Westchase District in Houston, is staffed 24/7/365 with administrators as well as data and support technicians supervising, monitoring, and maintaining the network.
Contact PS Lightwave today to find out how our disaster response can help keep your business up and running, even in the worst of weather.