Weather Authority Foresees Very Busy Season with an Increased Northeast US Threat
Andover, MA, August 25, 2010 — In its latest tropical update for 2010, WSI (Weather Services International) now calls for 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 5 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). The 2010 forecast numbers are well above the long-term (1950-2009) averages of 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes and also above the averages from the more active recent 15-year period (1995-2009) of 14/8/4. These numbers are also a slight decrease from the June forecast numbers of 19/11/5.
Further, WSI’s hurricane landfall forecasting model (developed in collaboration with reinsurance intermediary Guy Carpenter) continues to suggest that the coastal region from the Outer Banks of North Carolina northward to Maine is twice as likely as normal to experience a hurricane this year.
“Although the season hasn’t had a record-breaking start, historically warm tropical Atlantic ocean temperatures and an enabling wind shear environment should mean that the upcoming three months will be very active," said WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford. “Slow starts during emerging La Nina events are par for the course. Over the last seven tropical seasons where a transition to La Nina occurred, 85% of all named storms occurred after August 16. This means we are still very, very early in the season. More importantly, however, eastern and central tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures remain at record warm levels, even warmer than the freakishly active season of 2005. While the early part of the season has been hampered by small destructive pockets of wind shear and widespread dry air, likely parting gifts from the recent strong El Nino event, the atmosphere is now quickly becoming more favorable for tropical development,” Dr. Crawford added. “We have reduced our numbers a bit to account for the lagged start, but are still just as bullish as ever on the remainder of the season.”
Crawford also indicated that the Northeast US has an enhanced risk of hurricane landfall this season. “Our statistical landfall forecast model, which takes into account northern hemispheric ocean temperatures and current atmospheric patterns, is suggesting that the coastline from the Outer Banks to Maine is under a significantly increased threat of a hurricane this season, relative to the normal rates, which are, admittedly, quite small. Our model suggests that the threat to the Northeast coast this season is on par with that in Florida and the Gulf coastal states.”
Energy 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 late fall and early winter temperatures, will be issued on September 21. The last update on the 2010 tropical season will be released on September 22.
Programming Note: Tune in to CNBC Wednesday mornings at 10:30 AM (ET). WSI will be providing weekly reports on how weather will impact the oil, gas and power markets.
WSI (Weather Services International) is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the energy, insurance, aviation and media markets, as well as multiple federal and state government agencies. 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. More information about WSI can be found at www.wsi.com.
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