ST. LOUIS – The National Hurricane Center predicts a 60% chance of another above-average hurricane season.
An expected 13 to 20 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, with 3 to 5 becoming major hurricanes. This is on the heels of a record-breaking season, but there is good news.
“We are not anticipating the 2021 to come close to the 2020 season, which was by far our most prolific season to date,” said Melissa Mainhart, meteorologist at the NWS St. Louis.
Last year boasted 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes. But for does it really matter for St. Louisans?
“The St. Louis audience, often times, is like, ‘Why are we talking about hurricanes?’ But there are a couple different things we have to realize,” said FOX 2 meteorologist Chris Higgins. “We have a lot of people in St. Louis who vacation down in hurricane zones, they have homes in hurricane zones, they have family down there.”
Another thing to consider: the hurricanes can get a lot closer to home here in St. Louis than you might think.
“So obviously, we are in the middle of the country, so we don’t get landfalling hurricanes making direct impact to our region,” Mainhart said. “But we do get the remnants or left-over bits.”
Flashback to September 2008: Hurricane Ike made its way from the Gulf of Mexico to Missouri and dumped between 6 and 8 inches of rain. Showing we need to be prepared for anything and everything.
Meteorologist Chris Higgins remembers that September well. He returned home from deployment a day before the storm.
“I went from 120 degrees and landed and didn’t see a rain drop for 4 months and landed and the next day and saw more rain in 3 hours than I had seen for the most of the year,” Higgins said.
Flash flooding and gusty winds from Ike killed two people in St. Louis and flooded businesses in Brentwood.
George Hansford, owner of Trainwreck Saloon, experienced more storm-related impact in St. Louis than at his primary home along the Gulf Coast.
“I mean, yeah, that was the ironic part because I had been sandbagging and hurricane shutters and all this work down there, and then I get hit here,” he said. “So, it was devastating here and we barely got anything down there.”