WSI: Cooler Atlantic, Waning La Nina Suggest Relatively Tame 2012 Tropical Season

Forecast Number of Hurricanes & Intense Hurricanes Matches That Observed in 2011


Andover, MA, December 21, 2011 — In its first tropical forecast for 2012, WSI (Weather Services International) predicts 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). The 2012 forecast numbers fall between the long-term (1950-2011) averages of 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 intense hurricanes, and the averages from the more active recent period (1995-2011) of 15/8/4.

“After back-to-back La Nina winters, most models are suggesting an end to La Nina or possibly an emergence of El Nino by late next summer,” said WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford. “This outlook, combined with the fact that the North Atlantic Ocean has recently cooled to levels not observed in a decade, is suggestive of a less active tropical season in 2012, at least relative to recent active period (1995-2011) normals.”

Crawford also indicated there was no particularly strong landfall signal for 2012 at this point. “After a three-year respite for the US coastline, Hurricane Irene moved ashore along the East Coast during late August. Irene was a wake-up call after an historically unusual lull in hurricane landfalls. For 2012, our landfall model depicts close-to-normal probabilities of landfall along the US coastline, slightly elevated chances in the Gulf and Florida and slightly reduced chances along the East Coast.”

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 winter and early spring temperatures, will be issued on January 24. The next update for the 2012 tropical season will be released on April 20.

About WSI
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.

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

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