WSI Raises Its April Forecast Numbers for 2010 Hurricane Season

Weather Authority Predicts Hyperactive Tropical Season with Magnified Northeast US Threat


Andover, MA, May 26, 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 3 intense hurricanes and slightly above the averages from the more active recent 15-year period (1995-2009) of 14/8/4. These numbers are also an increase from the April forecast numbers of 16/9/5.

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.

“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 sharply reversed course this year and everything is in place for an incredibly active season. The El Nino event has vanished completely, resulting in a decrease in western 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 May, even warmer than the freakishly active season of 2005. While we’ve increased our forecast numbers in both of the last two monthly updates, we are still more likely to raise than lower these numbers going forward. At this time, there is no strong argument to rebut the bold assertion that this season will at least approach the record 2005 levels of activity.”

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.”

For additional insight into the 2010 hurricane season, please join WSI for its complementary Summer Weather Symposium at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan on June 16. Click here for details.

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 June 22. The next update on the 2010 tropical season will be released on June 23.

About WSI
WSI (Weather Services International) is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the energy, 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. 

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

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