Final Update on WSI Tropical Forecast Numbers: 16 Named Storms, 9 Hurricanes, and 4 Intense Hurricanes

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The final 2008 forecast calls for 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). This is an increase of 1 named storm relative to the August 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.

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WSI Corporation issued a regularly-scheduled update to their 2008 Atlantic tropical season forecast on September 23. The final 2008 forecast calls for 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). This is an increase of 1 named storm relative to the August 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 forecast suggests that four more named storms will occur, three of which will attain hurricane strength. WSI expects one more major hurricane (category 3 or greater) this season.

According to WSI seasonal forecaster Dr. Todd Crawford, "It has been another active season this year, with 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes so far. However, recent weeks have been characterized by large-scale suppression and stronger-than-normal wind shear in the tropical Atlantic, resulting in a relatively quiet period. The recent evolution of the Madden-Julian Oscillation suggests that a more favorable environment for tropical development will return sometime before mid-October. Because of this, there will likely be another period of enhanced activity, with a few more named storms likely to occur before the season ends."

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.

WSI has been providing industry-leading seasonal forecasts for energy traders since 2000. The next full seasonal forecast package, which will include the first official forecasts for the upcoming winter in both the US and Europe, will be issued to clients on October 14 and to the press on October 21. The first forecast for the 2009 tropical season will be issued to clients on December 16 and to the press on December 23.

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 was recently purchased 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 http://www.wsi.com.

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

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Kristen Sullivan
WSI
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