Weather Authority Cites “Near Record Pace” of First Half of Season
Andover, MA, September 21, 2011 — WSI (Weather Services International) has increased its 2011 tropical forecast to 21 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 4 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). These 2011 forecast numbers are above the long-term (1950-2010) averages of 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 intense hurricanes, and are slightly higher than the averages from the more active recent period (1995-2010) of 15/8/4. This latest forecast represents a change from the previous forecast of 18 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 intense hurricanes.
“To date, we have already had 14 named storms, but only 3 hurricanes (2 intense). The fact that there have been 11 storms that have remained below hurricane-strength is quite unusual and is likely a reflection of the reduced instability over the Atlantic sector so far this season,” said WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford. “However, the 14 storms during the first half of the season occurred at a near-record pace; and we have increased our numbers from 18 to 21 to account for the high first-half numbers. Due to the reduced instability, we have reduced our hurricane total from 8 to 7, while maintaining our intense hurricane total at 4.”
Crawford continued, “Irene was the first landfalling hurricane in the US since Ike in 2008; and all three hurricanes (Irene, Katia, and Maria), so far, have recurved before threatening the Gulf States. This reflects the continued dominance of the eastern US and western Atlantic troughing that has generally been in place since 2009. The tropical storms (Don, Lee, Nate) that have threatened the Gulf so far, have generally underperformed. This is due, in part, to the unseasonably dry air associated with the southern Plains drought. While the near-term pattern may favor more southern tracks and a higher Gulf threat, the expected return of eastern US troughing in late September suggests that our original forecast for enhanced Gulf landfall chances may be in doubt.”
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 the upcoming winter, will be issued on October 25. The first forecast for the 2012 tropical season will be released on December 21.
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.
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