Tropical Cyclones - March 2021

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

Tropical Cyclone Niran was the second category-5 storm of 2021 globally and also the second category-5 storm of the 2020/21 Southwest Pacific cyclone season. It caused widespread damage on New Caledonia even though the strongest winds remained offshore. There were also three storms in the South Indian Ocean, each of which remained far from land. Tropical Cyclone Marion peaked as a category-3 storm on February 28 but continued into early March. Tropical Cyclone Habana reached category-4 strength twice as it meandered around the central South Indian Ocean. Finally, Tropical Storm Iman lasted less than 24 hours as a tropical cyclone.

The South Indian Ocean tropical cyclone activity was near-normal in terms of the number of storms. The accumulated cyclone energy (ACE; an integrated metric for the strength, duration, and number of tropical cyclones) was more than double its climatological value in March due in large part to Habana's long lifespan. The 2020/21 season as a whole remains somewhat above normal.

The tropical cyclone activity in the Australian region was near-normal in March. The number of tropical storms and major tropical cyclones are both near-normal for the 2020/21 season, but the number of tropical cyclones and ACE are both well below-normal. Despite Tropical Cyclone Niran, the Southwest Pacific was quieter the normal overall in March. However, it remains near-normal for the 2020/21 season.

North Atlantic

No North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones occurred during March 2021.

North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone March Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1851-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
1st
(tied with 40 other Marches)
1
(1908)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
1st
(tied with 40 other Marches)
1
(1908)
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
1st
(tied with 40 other Marches)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
1st
(tied with 40 other Marches)
5.8
(1908)
North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-March 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1851-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
3rd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
1
(8 seasons)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 seasons)
2nd
(tied with 39 other seasons)
1
(1908, 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
0.00.2
(2 in 10 seasons)
3rd
(tied with 38 other seasons)
6.5
(1955)

East Pacific

No East Pacific Tropical Cyclones occurred during March 2021.

East Pacific Tropical Cyclone March Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1949-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
2nd
(tied with 39 other Marches)
1
(1992)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
1st
(tied with 40 other Marches)
0
Major Hurricane
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
1st
(tied with 40 other Marches)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
2nd
(tied with 39 other Marches)
0.6
(1992)
East Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-March 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)
2
(1992)
Hurricane
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 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)
2nd
(tied with 39 other seasons)
1
(1992)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.5
(5 in 10 seasons)
4th
(tied with 37 other seasons)
13.9
(1992)

West Pacific

No West Pacific Tropical Cyclones occurred during March 2021.

West Pacific Tropical Cyclone March 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 Marches)
16th
(tied with 25 other Marches)
3
(1982)
Typhoon
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 Marches)
9th
(tied with 32 other Marches)
1
(15 Marchs)
Major Typhoon
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.1
(1 in 10 Marches)
6th
(tied with 35 other Marches)
1
(9 Marchs)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.03.116th
(tied with 25 other Marches)
30.2
(2002)
West Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-March 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1945-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
11.013th
(tied with 16 other seasons)
5
(1965)
Typhoon
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.4
(4 in 10 seasons)
16th
(tied with 25 other seasons)
3
(2015)
Major Typhoon
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.2
(2 in 10 seasons)
9th
(tied with 32 other seasons)
2
(1953, 2015)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
1.56.025th44.7
(1958)

North Indian

No North Indian Tropical Cyclones occurred during March 2021.

North Indian Tropical Cyclone March Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1972-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
2nd
(tied with 39 other Marches)
1
(1994)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
1st
(tied with 40 other Marches)
0
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
1st
(tied with 40 other Marches)
0
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
0.00.0
(0 in 10 Marches)
2nd
(tied with 39 other Marches)
0.8
(1994)
North Indian Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-March 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)
10th
(tied with 31 other seasons)
1
(10 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
0.00.3
(3 in 10 seasons)
10th
(tied with 31 other seasons)
1.8
(1987)

South Indian

March 2021 South Indian Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Marian3February 26-March 6Feb 26-Mar 6115 mph952 mb
Habana4March 4Mar 4-16145 mph931 mb
ImanTSMarch 7Mar 7-850 mph991 mb
Value occurred in February
Value occurred in the South Indian
South Indian Tropical Cyclone March Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
32.14th
(tied with 12 other Marches)
5
(1994)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
21.45th
(tied with 10 other Marches)
4
(2019)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
10.8
(8 in 10 Marches)
10th
(tied with 12 other Marches)
3
(2019)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
47.719.13rd71.2
(1994)
South Indian Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2020-March 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
119.27th
(tied with 4 other seasons)
15
(1997)
Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
75.26th
(tied with 3 other seasons)
9
(1989, 1994, 1997, 2019)
Major Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
22.625th
(tied with 5 other seasons)
8
(2019)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
98.879.914th161.4
(1994)

Australia

March 2021 Australia Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Marian3February 26-March 6Feb 26-Mar 6115 mph952 mb
Niran5March 1Mar 1-6160 mph917 mb
Value occurred in February
Australia Tropical Cyclone March Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
22.518th
(tied with 14 other Marches)
5
(1999, 2004)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
21.58th
(tied with 9 other Marches)
4
(2006)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
11.0
(10 in 10 Marches)
10th
(tied with 15 other Marches)
3
(1999, 2004, 2006, 2019)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
15.719.119th54.8
(2005)
Australia Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2020-March 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
109.312th
(tied with 7 other seasons)
17
(1984, 1999)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
23.932nd
(tied with 4 other seasons)
8
(1996)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
21.811th
(tied with 11 other seasons)
4
(1992, 1999, 2006, 2015)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
32.150.328th98.4
(1999)

Southwest Pacific

March 2021 Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Niran5March 1Mar 1-6160 mph917 mb
Value occurred in the Southwest Pacific
Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone March Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
11.925th
(tied with 11 other Marches)
4
(1980, 1983, 1992)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
11.0
(10 in 10 Marches)
9th
(tied with 17 other Marches)
4
(1983)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
10.6
(6 in 10 Marches)
5th
(tied with 12 other Marches)
2
(1983, 1992, 2003, 2010)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
4.812.224th44.0
(1992)
Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Counts July 2020-March 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1956-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
86.69th
(tied with 5 other seasons)
15
(1998)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
43.712th
(tied with 6 other seasons)
11
(1998)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
21.812th
(tied with 7 other seasons)
6
(2003)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
39.746.721st127.2
(1992)

Global

March 2021 Global Tropical Cyclones
Name Maximum
Category
Max
Cat
Dates
>39 mph
Maximum Sustained Winds Minimum Central Pressure
Marian3February 26-March 6Feb 26-Mar 6115 mph952 mb
Niran5March 1Mar 1-6160 mph917 mb
Habana4March 4Mar 4-16145 mph931 mb
ImanTSMarch 7Mar 7-850 mph991 mb
Value occurred in February
Global Tropical Cyclone March Counts
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1972-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
46.334th
(tied with 2 other Marches)
10
(1994)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
33.922nd
(tied with 11 other Marches)
7
(2007, 2019)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
22.318th
(tied with 8 other Marches)
6
(2019)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
68.253.712th116.0
(2019)
Global Tropical Cyclone Season Counts January-March 2021
Storm Type Count 1981-2010
Mean
1981-2021
Rank*
1972-2021
Record
Tropical Storm
Winds >39 mph (34 kts)
1918.613th
(tied with 7 other seasons)
27
(1986)
Tropical Cyclone
Winds >74 mph (64 kts)
99.823rd
(tied with 6 other seasons)
14
(1994)
Major Tropical Cyclone
Winds >111 mph (96 kts)
45.025th
(tied with 8 other seasons)
10
(1994, 2019)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy
ACE×104 kt2
133.1146.424th264.0
(1994)

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: Tropical Cyclones for March 2021, published online April 2021, retrieved on May 10, 2021 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tropical-cyclones/202103.

Metadata