Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revised its predictions for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season Wednesday, saying the region could see up to 21 named storms this year.
About midway through the season, hurricane odds are expected to increase going forward. So far, the Atlantic has seen five named storms, with Hurricane Elsa becoming the earliest fifth named storm on record.
Of the 15 to 21 predicted named storms, seven to 10 are expected to be hurricanes and three to five will likely be strong enough to be considered major hurricanes -- Category 3 or higher. Before the start of the season, the government agency predicted 13 to 20 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes this year.
NOAA says there's now a 65% chance of 2021 having an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.
Though the hurricane season officially began June 1, Tropical Storm Ana developed May 22, making it the seventh consecutive year in which a named storm early.
Tropical Storm Bill followed on June 14, Tropical Storm Claudette on June 19, Tropical Storm Danny on June 28 and what would eventually become Hurricane Elsa on July 1. Claudette made landfall in Louisiana, Danny in South Carolina, and Elsa in Cuba and Florida.