Friday, December 26, 2008

Active 2009 hurricane season predicted by WSI

A press release from WSI Corporation: WSI Corporation has issued their first look at the 2009 Atlantic tropical season. The 2009 forecast calls for 13 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). These forecast numbers are all larger than the 1950-2008 averages of 9.8 named storms, 6.0 hurricanes, and 2.5 intense hurricanes. The expectations for an active 2009 season arise from (1) the expected continuation of warmer-than-normal Atlantic Ocean temperature anomalies into next summer and fall and (2) the likelihood of a favorable or neutral wind shear environment associated with the lack of an El Nino event.

The 2009 WSI forecast comes on the heels of a very successful 2008 forecast. The December preseason forecast values of 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes were slightly smaller than the final observed values of 15/8/5. The subsequent updates improved the forecast further – the April updated forecast values of 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes were almost perfect.

According to WSI seasonal forecaster Dr. Todd Crawford, “Since 1995, most tropical seasons have been more active than the long-term averages, due to warmer Atlantic Ocean temperatures. We do not see any reason why this active regime will not continue in 2009. It should be noted that the Atlantic temperatures are cooler than last year, however, and we currently do not expect 2009 to be quite as active as 2008.”

WSI has been providing industry-leading seasonal forecasts for energy traders since 2000. The next full seasonal forecast package, which will include forecasts for late winter temperatures in both the US and Europe, will be issued to clients on January 13 and to the press on January 20. The next update on the 2009 tropical season will be issued to clients on April 14 and to the press on April 22.

Damage from Hurricane Kathleen, 1976. FEMA

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