WSI Significantly Increases Forecast Numbers for 2010 Hurricane Season

Weather Authority Predicts Increased Northeast US Threat During Most Active Season Since Record-Breaking 2005


Andover, MA, April 21, 2010 — In its latest tropical update for 2010, WSI (Weather Services International) Corporation now calls for 16 named storms, 9 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 3 intense hurricanes and slightly above the averages from the more active recent 15-year period (1995-2009) of 15/8/4.

Further, WSI’s hurricane landfall forecasting model (developed in collaboration with reinsurance intermediary Guy Carpenter) suggests 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.

“The 2009 tropical season was the quietest since 1997, as an emerging El Nino event combined with relatively cool tropical Atlantic waters to suppress widespread storm development," said WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford. “However, the primary drivers for tropical activity have reversed course this year and the stage appears to be set for a very busy season in 2010. The El Nino event is steadily weakening, resulting in a decrease in tropical Pacific convection and a concomitant decrease in the vertical wind shear that typically acts as a detriment to tropical Atlantic development. More importantly, however, eastern and central tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are currently at record warm levels for April, even warmer than the freakishly active season of 2005. Our forecast numbers are more likely to rise than fall in future forecast updates heading into the season.”

Crawford also indicated that the Northeast US had 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 summer temperatures, will be issued on May 25. The next update on the 2010 tropical season will be released on May 26.

About WSI

WSI Corporation is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the energy, insurance, aviation, and media markets, and 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.

Contact:
Linda Maynard
WSI Corporation
(978) 983-6715
lmaynard@wsi.com

Editorial Contact:
Barbara Rudolph
Rudolph Communications, LLC
(781) 229-1811
bjr@rudolphcommunications.com