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Busy 2021 Hurricane Season Comes To An End

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season officially comes to an end Tuesday.

The season had 21 named tropical storms and hurricanes, which was the third-most for any hurricane season, behind only 2020's record 30 storms and the 28 storms that formed in 2005. A typical season sees 14 storms.

In addition, it's the second year in a row the season exhauted the list of storm names.  Dissipating in early November, tropical storm Wanda marked the 21st named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

Elsa and Fred
Elsa and Fred were the only 2 storms to threaten South Florida.

Of the 21 named storms, only two impacted South Florida.  Elsa and Fred, both tropical storms while near South Florida, were mostly rain makers and gave the area brief tropical-storm force winds.

Relative to the active season, the impacts from this season could be considered minimal to none. This allowed emergency staff in Florida to continue to address the impacts from past storms.

"We're still working Hurricane Michael. We're still working Hurricane Irma, Matthew, Hermine, Dorian and so on," said Kevin Guthrie, director of the state Division of Emergency Management. "So, yeah, it was good for us to be able to work on some of those past disasters and get them working towards closing out."

Florida has seen several close calls in the past few seasons, but a wobble followed by a slight change in track direction kept these major storms away from South Florida. Some may call it luck, but Guthrie added by quoting National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, "Wobbles matter. Little wobbles matter."

This year was the sixth consecutive above-average storm season and came after Florida suffered historic strikes from Irma in 2017 and Michael in 2018. But this year is essentially the third consecutive season without a hurricane directly causing massive damage to Florida.

"It only takes one big storm to cause problems in the state of Florida," Guthrie said. "This is not going to be the norm. We are Florida. We get hit by hurricanes. It is going to happen."

Hurricane Ida
Hurricane Ida was a major hurricane that impacted New Orleans on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

This season included seven hurricanes with four of those becoming major hurricanes reaching Category 3 strength.

Louisiana was hit hard again when Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on the 16-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall.

When Ana formed on May 22, forecasters recorded the seventh consecutive year which a system emerged before the official season start date on June 1.

Given this trend, the National Hurricane Center starts issuing outlooks on May 15 instead of June 1. There are discussions to change the actual start of the hurricane season, but for now they remain just that, discussions.

Next year's hurricane season starts on June 1, 2022.

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