Andover, MA (PRWEB) August 27, 2008
WSI Corporation issued a regularly-scheduled update to their 2008 Atlantic tropical season forecast on August 19. The 2008 forecast continues to call for 15 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). These forecast numbers have not changed relative to the July forecast. 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 throughout the remainder of the season and (2) the likelihood of a favorable or neutral wind shear environment on the heels of the recent La Nina event.
The persistence in forecast numbers comes about due to the opposing impacts of (1) an increase in Atlantic Ocean temperature anomalies and (2) an increase in sea surface temperature anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. The first factor is enabling for tropical cyclone development, while the latter is associated with increasing wind shear that would inhibit storm formation.
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. This active regime has continued into the current year, with seven named storms already. This is slightly ahead of the pace of the active seasons of 2003-04, both of which had six named storms by this time. The wind shear environment has been relatively favorable for the development of tropical systems so far. The only negative factor is the increase in eastern tropical Pacific SST anomalies, which is historically correlated with reduced tropical activity during the latter half of the 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 early winter temperatures in both the U.S. and Europe, will be issued to clients on September 23, 2008 and to the press on September 30, 2008. The final update on the 2008 tropical season will be issued to clients on September 23, 2008 and to the press on October 1, 2008.
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.
Weather Services International
ksullivan @ wsi.com