WSI Issues Updated 2009 Hurricane Season Forecast

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Weather Authority's Tropical Forecast Continues to Call for a Relatively Quiet Season This Year

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Ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are cooler, relative to normal, than at any time since 1994

WSI Corporation's updated 2009 hurricane season forecast continues to call for 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater).

These forecast numbers are the same as the previous WSI forecast issued in April due to a continuation of relatively cool tropical Atlantic Ocean temperatures and a trend towards El Nino conditions in the tropical Pacific. The 2009 forecast numbers are quite close to the long-term (1950-2008) average of 9.8 named storms, 6.0 hurricanes, and 2.5 intense hurricanes, but are significantly lower than the numbers from the relatively active seasons of the past 15 years.

The 2009 WSI tropical forecast comes on the heels of a very successful 2008 forecast. The WSI December forecast values of 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes were slightly smaller than the final observed 2008 values of 16/8/5. The subsequent updates improved the forecast further, as the April 2008 updated forecast values of 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes were the most accurate amongst the publicly-available forecasts issued last spring.

"Ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are cooler, relative to normal, than at any time since 1994," said WSI seasonal forecaster Dr. Todd Crawford. "Further, the recent La Nina event has now ended and a trend towards El Nino conditions has begun, and because of this we expect at least slightly above-normal wind shear in the tropical Atlantic this season. Neither the cooler tropical Atlantic nor the expected wind shear conditions are enabling for tropical activity this year. While we have persisted our forecast numbers in response to the latest information, future changes to our forecast are more likely to be towards smaller numbers than larger numbers."

Energy and agricultural traders, insurance professionals and risk managers look to WSI for accurate, timely weather information around the clock and across the globe. The next full seasonal forecast package, which will include forecasts for summer temperatures in both the US and Europe, will be issued on June 23. The next update on the 2009 hurricane season will be issued on June 22.

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

Kristen Sullivan
WSI Corporation
(978) 983-6607

Editorial Contact:
Barbara Rudolph    
Rudolph Communications, LLC
(781) 229-1811

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