Weather Authority's Tropical Forecast Continues to Call for a Relatively Quiet Season
Andover, MA - July 21, 2009 — WSI Corporation’s updated 2009 hurricane season forecast now calls for 10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater), a slight reduction from the previous forecast of 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes.
The forecast numbers were reduced due to the unfavorable wind shear environment across the tropical Atlantic, which is driven by the recent development of a new El Nino event in the tropical Pacific. The impacts of the El Nino event have emerged more quickly than originally expected, resulting in reduced expectations for the upcoming season. The 2009 forecast numbers remain quite close to the long-term (1950-2008) average of 9.8 named storms, 6.0 hurricanes, and 2.5 intense hurricanes, but are significantly lower than the numbers from the relatively active seasons of the past 15 years.
The 2009 WSI tropical forecast comes on the heels of a very successful 2008 forecast. The WSI December forecast values of 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes were slightly smaller than the final observed 2008 values of 16/8/5. The subsequent updates improved the forecast further, as the April 2008 updated forecast values of 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes were the most accurate amongst the publicly-available forecasts issued last spring.
“Ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic remain quite cool relative to the temperatures during the last 15, more tropically active years," said WSI seasonal forecaster Dr. Todd Crawford. “Further, the new El Nino event continues to strengthen, resulting in an unfavorable wind shear environment across the tropical Atlantic. The early development of this enhanced wind shear along with the relatively cool tropical Atlantic temperatures will almost certainly result in a less-active season then last year, and could potentially result in an unusually quiet season. We have reduced our forecast numbers slightly to account for the impacts of the new El Nino event, and the fact there have been no early-season storms through mid-July.”
Energy and agricultural traders, insurance professionals and risk managers look to WSI for accurate, timely weather information around the clock and across the globe. The next seasonal forecast update, which will include forecasts for fall temperatures, will be issued on August 26. The next update on the 2009 hurricane season will be issued on August 25.
About WSI Corporation
WSI is the most trusted source of weather information across the globe. Top insurance, risk management companies and financial institutions, worldwide, trust WSI to supply them with easy-to-use, timely and expert weather guidance to help anticipate market volatility, mitigate risk and make critical decisions with confidence. WSI is a member of The Weather Channel Companies and is headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, with offices in Birmingham, England. The Weather Channel Companies are owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms, The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, please visit us on the web at www.wsi.com or call us at 877.WSI.CORP or +22.214.171.12400.