Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

People survey damage in a neighborhood after Hurricane Delta made landfall in Holly Beach, Louisiana, U.S., on Oct. 11, 2020. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is out with their official Atlantic hurricane season outlook, and it calls for above average storm activity, which would make this the sixth unusually active season in a row.

Why it matters: This hurricane season comes in the wake of the North Atlantic Basin's most active season on record, with 30 named storms occurring in 2020, 12 of which struck the U.S., setting a benchmark.

  • By the numbers: NOAA is forecasting a 60% chance of an above average season, with a 70% probability of between 13 and 20 named storms. Of these named storms, NOAA is predicting that between 6 to 10 will be hurricanes, and 3 to 5 major hurricanes of Category 3, 4, or 5.

Flashback: Of the 30 named storms last year, 13 were hurricanes, and seven were "major" hurricanes of at least Category 3 intensity. The U.S. saw about $44 billion in economic losses from tropical cyclones in 2020, less than in 2005 and 2017, according to Steve Bowen, the head of disaster insight at Aon.

  • The hardest hit region last year was the Gulf Coast, particularly central and western Louisiana, where two hurricanes struck land within 25 miles of each other at different points in the season.

The big picture: A few main factors are behind the 2021 seasonal forecast, all of which point to an uptick in activity, though not as severe as last year. First, there had been, until recently, a La Niña event in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which tends to diminish the upper atmospheric winds over the tropical Atlantic.

  • This climate phenomena can reduce wind shear over the tropical Atlantic, which is when winds blow with different speeds or direction with height. Shear can rip apart nascent tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • The atmospheric effects of La Niña are likely to linger into much of the first half of the hurricane season, and if another such event redevelops by the fall, the season could be even more active than currently anticipated.
  • In addition, ocean temperatures in key parts of the tropical Atlantic are running above average for this time of year, though not as mild as they were at this time last year.

Climate change's influence on tropical cyclones, which is the general term for tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons, is increasingly detectable, according to scientific studies. Nearly a dozen of the storms in the Atlantic Ocean last year underwent a process known as rapid intensification, leaping across several intensity categories in a matter of hours.

  • In a warming world, more frequent bouts of rapid intensification is expected.
  • In addition, hurricanes are now moving more slowly, and may be weakening more slowly once they cross over land. They're also dropping more rainfall than they used to, thanks to the added moisture from warmer ocean and air temperatures.
  • Other forecasting groups that issue seasonal outlooks have unanimously called for an above average season, though not as busy as 2020 was. These include Colorado State University and AccuWeather.

Of note: A forecasting group at Penn State University, which came the closest to predicting the actual number of storms in 2020, is calling for a range between 9 and 15 named storms this season, with a best estimate of 12 named storms.

What's next: Already, the season's first named storm, which is likely to be a hybrid between a tropical and non-tropical cyclone, is expected to form east of Bermuda in the next few days, but won't significantly affect any land areas.

Go deeper

Significant hurricane threat for Gulf Coast this weekend

Tropical Storm Ida formed Thursday afternoon over the Caribbean Sea and has the potential to become a powerful hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico and strike the northern Gulf Coast by Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The big picture: The Hurricane Center included unusually sobering wording for the first advisory on a storm, partly because the timing of landfall means there is only a few days for residents in the storm's potential path to prepare.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

6 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!