WSI Increases 2008 Tropical Forecast Numbers to 15 Named Storms, 9 Hurricanes, and 4 Intense Hurricanes

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WSI Corporation issued a regularly-scheduled update to their 2008 Atlantic tropical season forecast.

WSI Corporation issued a regularly-scheduled update to their 2008 Atlantic tropical season forecast on July 15. The 2008 forecast now calls for 15 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). These forecast numbers have increased slightly from the June forecast of 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes. The forecast numbers are significantly higher than the 1950-2007 averages of 9.7 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes, and 2.3 intense hurricanes. The expectations for an active 2008 season arise from (1) the expected continuation of warmer-than-normal Atlantic Ocean temperature anomalies into the heart of tropical season and (2) the likelihood of a favorable or neutral wind shear environment on the heels of the recent La Nina event. The slight increase in forecast numbers is primarily due to increasing sea surface temperature anomalies in those parts of the Atlantic basin that play more of a role in storm development and intensity.

The 2008 WSI forecast comes on the heels of a very successful 2007 forecast. The May 15 preseason forecast values of 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes were slightly larger than the final observed values of 15/6/2, but the forecast fared better than the other well-publicized tropical forecasts. The August 14 update reduced the forecast numbers to 14/6/3, a correct prediction of a reduced risk of hurricanes relative to the May forecast.

According to WSI seasonal forecaster Dr. Todd Crawford, "Since 1995, most tropical seasons have been more active than the long-term averages, due to warmer Atlantic Ocean temperatures. We do not see any reason why this active regime will not continue in 2008. The recent La Nina event should leave behind a wind shear environment that is favorable for the development of tropical systems in the summer and fall of 2008. Recent warming in the Atlantic basin has resulted in an increase in the forecast numbers from our statistical model, so we have increased our official numbers slightly. The relatively early occurrence of the first intense hurricane, Bertha, is also usually an omen for a very active season."

WSI has been providing industry-leading seasonal forecasts for energy traders since 2000. The next full seasonal forecast package, which will include forecasts for fall temperatures in both the US and Europe, will be issued to clients on August 19 and to the press on August 26. The next update on the 2008 tropical season will be issued to clients on August 19 and to the press on August 27.

About WSI
WSI Corporation is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the energy, aviation, and media markets, and multiple federal and state government agencies. WSI is headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts with offices in Birmingham, England, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Landmark Communications. More information about WSI can be found at http://www.wsi.com.

Contacts:
Kristen Sullivan
Weather Services International
(978) 983-6607
ksullivan @ wsi.com

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