Note: This report catalogs recent tropical cyclones across the North Atlantic and East Pacific and places each basin’s tropical cyclone activity in a climate-scale context. It is not updated in real time. Users seeking the real time status and forecasts of tropical cyclones should visit The National Hurricane Center.

Summary

No tropical cyclones formed in the Northern Hemisphere during January 2021, which is not unusual. On average, the West Pacific has a named storm every other January, and they are even rarer in other basins.

The Southern Hemisphere was more active than normal in terms of named storms with 10 in January. For the entire globe, that is one short of the record 11 January storms that have happened in three previous years (1985, 1986, and 1997). However, all of these storms were relatively weak with only three of them achieving hurricane strength. The strongest of these was Tropical Cyclone Danilo in the South Indian Ocean, and it peaked with winds of 80 mph.

Tropical cyclone activity was near-normal in the South Indian Ocean during January with 3 named storms and 2 cyclones. However, the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE), which measures the strength and duration of tropical cyclones, was only about half of the normal value for January. The only tropical cyclone to make landfall was Tropical Cyclone Eloise, which made landfall in both Madagascar and Mozambique. It brought heavy rainfall and flooding to the region just weeks after Tropical Storm Chalane followed a similar path.

The Australian region tied a record from 1986 with 6 named storms in January. However, none of these storms achieved tropical cyclone strength (≥74 mph) within the basin. Tropical Cyclone Lucas did reach that intensity, but it did so in February in the Southwest Pacific (east of 160°E). None of the storms produced major impacts. The January ACE was near-normal for January, but it remains less than half of normal for the 2020-2021 season so far.

The Southwest Pacific produced two named storms in late January, including Tropical Cyclone Ana. Ana brought heavy rain and flooding to Fiji, which has been impacted by an unusual number of tropical cyclones in 2020-2021. The number of named storms and tropical cyclones in the Southwest Pacific was near normal. Since both storms formed on January 30, the ACE for January was below-normal. However, the ACE for the 2020-2021 season remains above-normal.

North Atlantic

No North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones occurred during January 2021.

North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone January Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1851-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Januaries)
3rd
(tied with 38 other Januaries)
1
(6 Januarys)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Januaries)
2nd
(tied with 39 other Januaries)
1
(1938, 1955, 2016)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Januaries)
1st
(tied with 40 other Januaries)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.3
(3 in 10 Januaries)
3rd
(tied with 38 other Januaries)
6.5
(1955)
North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1851-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 seasons)
3rd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
1
(6 seasons)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
2nd
(tied with 39 other seasons)
1
(1938, 1955, 2016)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
1st
(tied with 40 other seasons)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.3
(3 in 10 seasons)
3rd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
6.5
(1955)

East Pacific

No East Pacific Tropical Cyclones occurred during January 2021.

East Pacific Tropical Cyclone January Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1949-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Januaries)
4th
(tied with 37 other Januaries)
1
(1989, 1992, 2016)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Januaries)
3rd
(tied with 38 other Januaries)
1
(1992, 2016)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Januaries)
1st
(tied with 40 other Januaries)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.5
(5 in 10 Januaries)
4th
(tied with 37 other Januaries)
9.0
(2016)
East Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1949-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 seasons)
4th
(tied with 37 other seasons)
1
(1989, 1992, 2016)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 seasons)
3rd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
1
(1992, 2016)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
1st
(tied with 40 other seasons)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.5
(5 in 10 seasons)
4th
(tied with 37 other seasons)
9.0
(2016)

West Pacific

No West Pacific Tropical Cyclones occurred during January 2021.

West Pacific Tropical Cyclone January Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1945-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.4
(4 in 10 Januaries)
19th
(tied with 22 other Januaries)
2
(1957, 1965, 1978, 1985)
Typhoon
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Januaries)
8th
(tied with 33 other Januaries)
1
(19 Januarys)
Major Typhoon
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Januaries)
3rd
(tied with 38 other Januaries)
1
(8 Januarys)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.01.219th
(tied with 22 other Januaries)
44.7
(1958)
West Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1945-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.4
(4 in 10 seasons)
19th
(tied with 22 other seasons)
2
(1957, 1965, 1978, 1985)
Typhoon
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 seasons)
8th
(tied with 33 other seasons)
1
(19 seasons)
Major Typhoon
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
3rd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
1
(8 seasons)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.01.219th
(tied with 22 other seasons)
44.7
(1958)

North Indian

No North Indian Tropical Cyclones occurred during January 2021.

North Indian Tropical Cyclone January Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1972-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 Januaries)
7th
(tied with 34 other Januaries)
1
(7 Januarys)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Januaries)
1st
(tied with 40 other Januaries)
0
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Januaries)
1st
(tied with 40 other Januaries)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.2
(2 in 10 Januaries)
7th
(tied with 34 other Januaries)
1.5
(1986)
North Indian Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1972-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 seasons)
7th
(tied with 34 other seasons)
1
(7 seasons)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
1st
(tied with 40 other seasons)
0
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
1st
(tied with 40 other seasons)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.2
(2 in 10 seasons)
7th
(tied with 34 other seasons)
1.5
(1986)

South Indian

January 2021 South Indian Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Danilo1January 1Jan 1-880 mph979 mb
JoshuaTSJanuary 15Jan 15-1850 mph998 mb
EloiseTSJanuary 17Jan 17-2160 mph994 mb
Value occurred in the South Indian
South Indian Tropical Cyclone January Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
32.69th
(tied with 15 other Januaries)
6
(1997)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
11.521st
(tied with 14 other Januaries)
4
(2018)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.8
(8 in 10 Januaries)
24th
(tied with 17 other Januaries)
3
(2001)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
10.220.829th57.1
(2015)
South Indian Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2020-January 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
65.29th
(tied with 11 other seasons)
12
(1997)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
22.625th
(tied with 6 other seasons)
6
(1997)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
01.531st
(tied with 10 other seasons)
4
(1997, 2014)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
18.939.430th108.3
(1997)

Australia

January 2021 Australia Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
ImogenTSJanuary 3Jan 3-450 mph995 mb
JoshuaTSJanuary 15Jan 15-1850 mph998 mb
KimiTSJanuary 17Jan 17-1860 mph990 mb
Not_NamedTSJanuary 21Jan 21-2740 mph995 mb
Not_NamedTSJanuary 21Jan 21-2245 mph997 mb
Lucas1January 31-February 3Jan 31-Feb 375 mph980 mb
Value occurred in the South Indian
Value occurred in February
Value occurred in the Southwest Pacific
Australia Tropical Cyclone January Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
52.22nd
(tied with 6 other Januaries)
6
(1986)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.9
(9 in 10 Januaries)
23rd
(tied with 18 other Januaries)
3
(5 Januarys)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 Januaries)
7th
(tied with 34 other Januaries)
2
(1997)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
6.09.621st55.9
(1994)
Australia Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2020-January 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
64.310th
(tied with 4 other seasons)
11
(1997)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
01.833rd
(tied with 8 other seasons)
6
(1996)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.6
(6 in 10 seasons)
18th
(tied with 23 other seasons)
2
(1997, 2014)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
7.520.132nd62.0
(1997)

Southwest Pacific

January 2021 Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Ana1January 30-February 2Jan 30-Feb 275 mph976 mb
BinaTSJanuary 30-February 1Jan 30-Feb 150 mph991 mb
Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone January Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
21.911th
(tied with 11 other Januaries)
6
(1998)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
11.112th
(tied with 16 other Januaries)
4
(1985)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.4
(4 in 10 Januaries)
14th
(tied with 27 other Januaries)
2
(1985, 1998, 2003, 2008)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
3.213.126th75.4
(1998)
Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2020-January 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
53.05th
(tied with 7 other seasons)
12
(1998)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
21.712th
(tied with 6 other seasons)
7
(1998)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
10.8
(8 in 10 seasons)
8th
(tied with 12 other seasons)
3
(1998, 2003, 2008)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
30.822.511th103.1
(1998)

Global

January 2021 Global Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Danilo1January 1Jan 1-880 mph979 mb
ImogenTSJanuary 3Jan 3-450 mph995 mb
JoshuaTSJanuary 15Jan 15-1850 mph998 mb
EloiseTSJanuary 17Jan 17-2160 mph994 mb
KimiTSJanuary 17Jan 17-1860 mph990 mb
Not_NamedTSJanuary 21Jan 21-2740 mph995 mb
Not_NamedTSJanuary 21Jan 21-2245 mph997 mb
Ana1January 30-February 2Jan 30-Feb 275 mph976 mb
BinaTSJanuary 30-February 1Jan 30-Feb 150 mph991 mb
Lucas1January 31-February 3Jan 31-Feb 375 mph980 mb
Value occurred in February
Global Tropical Cyclone January Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1972-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
96.84th
(tied with 7 other Januaries)
11
(1985, 1986, 1997)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
23.330th
(tied with 6 other Januaries)
7
(1997)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
01.432nd
(tied with 9 other Januaries)
4
(2001)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
19.445.637th122.1
(1998)
Global Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1972-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
96.84th
(tied with 7 other seasons)
11
(1985, 1986, 1997)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
23.330th
(tied with 6 other seasons)
7
(1997)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
01.432nd
(tied with 9 other seasons)
4
(2001)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
19.445.637th122.1
(1998)

Data Description

The data in this report are derived from NCEI's IBTrACS dataset (Knapp et al. 2010; Schreck et al. 2014). IBTrACS tropical cyclone track and intensity data from agencies and sources around the globe. In this report, data from NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) are used for the North Atlantic and East Pacific. The other basin's use data from the U.S. Military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

Historical values use the "best track" data that have been analyzed by forecasters after the season using all available data. Operational procedures and observing systems have changed with time and between regions, which makes these data heterogeneous. Intensity data are generally the most reliable since the early 1970s in the Atlantic (Landsea and Franklin 2013) and since the mid-1980s in other regions (Chu et al. 2002). The number of short-lived storms (≤2 days) has also increased since around 2000 due to improvements in observations and analysis techniques (Landsea et al. 2010).

Values for the current year are provisional values from the operational forecast advisories. IBTrACS obtains these from NCEP's TC Vitals, the NCAR Tropical Cyclone Guidance Project, and NHC provisional data. These values are subject to change during the post-season best track analysis. They also only include 6-hourly storm fixes, which means they may miss special advisories at landfall, peak intensity, etc.

The tropical cyclone seasons in the Southern Hemisphere begin in July and end in June, while the Northern Hemisphere seasons are counted from January to December. Storms are counted in all basins, months, and years in which they occur, which means some storms may appear more than once. However, the global totals only include each storm one time.

References

  • Chu, J.-H., C. R. Sampson, A. S. Levine, and E. Fukada, 2002: The joint typhoon warning center tropical cyclone best-tracks, 1945–2000. Naval Research Laboratory, Reference Number NRL/MR/7540-02-16, 22 pp., https://www.metoc.navy.mil/jtwc/products/best-tracks/tc-bt-report.html.
  • Knapp, K. R., M. C. Kruk, D. H. Levinson, H. J. Diamond, and C. J. Neumann, 2010: The International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, 363–376, https://doi.org/10.1175/2009BAMS2755.1.
  • Landsea, C. W., and J. L. Franklin, 2013: Atlantic Hurricane database uncertainty and presentation of a new database format. Mon. Wea. Rev., 141, 3576–3592, https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-12-00254.1.
  • ——, G. A. Vecchi, L. Bengtsson, and T. R. Knutson, 2010: Impact of duration thresholds on Atlantic tropical cyclone counts. J. Climate, 23, 2508–2519, https://doi.org/10.1175/2009JCLI3034.1.
  • Schreck, C. J., K. R. Knapp, and J. P. Kossin, 2014: The Impact of Best Track Discrepancies on Global Tropical Cyclone Climatologies using IBTrACS. Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 3881–3899, https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-14-00021.1.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Monthly Tropical Cyclones Report for January 2021, published online February 2021, retrieved on June 28, 2022 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/tropical-cyclones/202101.

Metadata

https://data.nodc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/iso?id=gov.noaa.ncdc:C00775