As of November 1, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season was the third-most active on record, with 21 named storms. 7 of these storms were hurricanes and 5 were classified as “major hurricanes” at Category 3 or higher.
The 2021 hurricane season claimed 161 lives and caused billions of dollars in damage.
When Is Hurricane Season & How Long Does It Last?
The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June through November, but some storms occur outside of these months. According to an analysis of storm data from 1851 to 2015 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), most hurricanes make landfall in the United States in September, followed by August and October.
When Is a Storm Classified as a Hurricane?
A tropical storm is considered a hurricane when it has sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour. Hurricanes are categorized based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which rates storms on a scale of 1 to 5 based on wind speed.
The categories of hurricanes are:
- Category 1 (sustained winds of 74-95 mph)
- Category 2 (sustained winds of 96-110 mph)
- Category 3 (sustained winds of 111-129 mph)
- Category 4 (sustained winds of 130-156 mph)
- Category 5 (sustained winds of 157+ mph)
2021 Hurricane Season Statistics
The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season brought 21 storms, 7 of which were hurricanes:
Formed on July 1, Hurricane Elsa first made landfall on west-central Cuba on July 5 and then in Taylor County, Florida on July 7. At least 5 people were killed, including 1 person in Florida who was struck by a falling tree and 4 others in the Caribbean. Hurricane Elsa caused an estimated $240 million in insured losses in the U.S., excluding National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) coverage. Total damage may exceed $1.2 billion.
Formed on August 14, Hurricane Grace made landfall on Hispaniola on August 16. By August 21, it had intensified to a Category 3 hurricane with winds peaking at 125 mph. It made landfall near Tecolutla, Veracruz, and then dissipated over the mountains in central Mexico. 14 people lost their lives. Grace caused an estimated $513 million in damage.
Formed on August 16, Hurricane Henri made landfall near Westerly, Rhode Island on August 22. By that time, Henri had downgraded to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Henri caused an estimated $155 million in insured losses in the U.S., not including those covered by the NFIP.
Formed on August 26, Hurricane Ida first made landfall on the Isla de la Juventud in Cuba as a Category 1 hurricane on August 27. It made landfall again later in the day at Pinal del Río, Cuba. By August 29, it had strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana with sustained maximum winds of 150 mph that same day. By August 30, it had weakened to a tropical depression. At least 115 people died, 95 in the United States and 20 in Venezuela, which suffered severe floods and landslides from Ida’s rains. Hurricane Ida caused an estimated $65.25 billion in damage.
Formed on September 2, Hurricane Larry made its first landfall on Newfoundland on September 10, causing about $80 million in damage. Rip currents caused by Larry led to two drownings in the United States, one in South Carolina and one in Florida.
Formed on September 12, Hurricane Nicholas made landfall near Sargent Beach, Texas on September 14. As it moved to the Galveston Bay area, Nicholas weakened to a tropical storm. It is estimated that Hurricane Nicholas caused $1.1 to $2.2 billion in insured losses.
Formed on September 24, Sam quickly became a Category 4 hurricane and reached peak intensity on September 26, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. Sam was the strongest hurricane of the 2021 season and finally weakened to a Category 1 storm on October 4. By October 5, the hurricane had downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. No deaths or property damage have been reported, as the hurricane was primarily over the open sea.
Quick Facts: 2021 Atlantic Hurricanes
- Grace, Ida, Larry, and Sam were major hurricanes (Category 3+).
- Ida and Sam reached Category 4 status.
- There were 161 total fatalities worldwide.
- The total damage is estimated at $70.5 billion, the fourth-costliest season on record.
What You Can Do
If you suffered property damage or other losses in a hurricane, you may need an attorney’s help when dealing with your insurance company. Hurricane insurance claims can be complicated, particularly when it comes to flooding and wind damage. Your insurance company may not be forthright in surveying and assessing the damage, and you might experience delays or other issues when trying to get a fair settlement.
Our hurricane insurance lawyers at Arnold & Itkin know precisely how to deal with insurance companies that employ less than ethical practices when investigating and paying claims. We know how to assert your rights to help you pursue a fair settlement that covers your losses. To learn more, call (888) 400-2101.