WSI Issues July Update for 2009 Hurricane Season

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WSI Corporation's updated 2009 hurricane season forecast now calls for 10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater), a slight reduction from the previous forecast of 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes.

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Ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic remain quite cool relative to the temperatures during the last 15, more tropically active years

WSI Corporation's updated 2009 hurricane season forecast now calls for 10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater), a slight reduction from the previous forecast of 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes.

The forecast numbers were reduced due to the unfavorable wind shear environment across the tropical Atlantic, which is driven by the recent development of a new El Nino event in the tropical Pacific. The impacts of the El Nino event have emerged more quickly than originally expected, resulting in reduced expectations for the upcoming season. The 2009 forecast numbers remain 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 remain quite cool relative to the temperatures during the last 15, more tropically active years," said WSI seasonal forecaster Dr. Todd Crawford. "Further, the new El Nino event continues to strengthen, resulting in an unfavorable wind shear environment across the tropical Atlantic. The early development of this enhanced wind shear along with the relatively cool tropical Atlantic temperatures will almost certainly result in a less-active season then last year, and could potentially result in an unusually quiet season. We have reduced our forecast numbers slightly to account for the impacts of the new El Nino event, and the fact there have been no early-season storms through mid-July."

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 seasonal forecast update, which will include forecasts for fall temperatures, will be issued on August 26. The next update on the 2009 hurricane season will be issued on August 25.

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
WSI Corporation
(978) 983-6607
ksullivan(at)wsi.com

Editorial Contact:
Barbara Rudolph    
Rudolph Communications, LLC
(781) 229-1811
bjr(at)rudolphcommunications.com

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Kristen Sullivan
WSI
9789836607
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