WSI Again Increases Its Forecast Numbers for 2010 Hurricane Season

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Weather Authority Extends Its Prediction for a Hyperactive Season with an Increased Northeast US Threat

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In its latest tropical update for 2010, WSI (Weather Services International) Corporation now calls for 20 named storms, 11 hurricanes and 5 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). The 2010 forecast numbers are well above the long-term (1950-2009) averages of 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes and slightly above the averages from the more active recent 15-year period (1995-2009) of 14/8/4. These numbers are also an increase from the May forecast numbers of 18/10/5.

Further, WSI’s hurricane landfall forecasting model (developed in collaboration with reinsurance intermediary Guy Carpenter) continues to suggest that the coastal region from the Outer Banks of North Carolina northward to Maine is twice as likely as normal to experience a hurricane this year.

“The 2009 tropical season was the quietest since 1997, as an emerging El Nino event combined with relatively cool tropical Atlantic waters to suppress widespread storm development," said WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford. “However, the primary drivers for tropical activity have sharply reversed course this year and everything is in place for an incredibly active season. The El Nino event has vanished completely, resulting in a decrease in western tropical Pacific convection and a concomitant decrease in the vertical wind shear that typically acts as a detriment to tropical Atlantic development. More importantly, however, eastern and central tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are currently at record warm levels for June, even warmer than the freakishly active season of 2005.”

“Water temperatures are already at levels more typical of August. So, it’s no surprise we’re seeing historically unusual tropical wave development in the eastern Atlantic so early in the season. All systems are go for the upcoming season; and we’ve increased our numbers further to reflect the persistence of the incredibly favorable conditions. At this time, a season approaching the record levels of 2005 is not out of the question, at all,” Dr. Crawford added.

Crawford also indicated that the Northeast US had an enhanced risk of hurricane landfall this season. “Our statistical landfall forecast model, which takes into account northern hemispheric ocean temperatures and current atmospheric patterns, is suggesting that the coastline from the Outer Banks to Maine is under a significantly increased threat of a hurricane this season, relative to the normal rates, which are, admittedly, quite small. Our model suggests that the threat to the Northeast coast this season is on par with that in Florida and the Gulf coastal states.”

Energy 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 summer temperatures, will be issued on July 20. The next update on the 2010 tropical season will be released on July 21.

About WSI
WSI (Weather Services International) is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the energy, insurance, aviation, and media markets, and multiple federal and state government agencies. WSI is a member of The Weather Channel Companies and is headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts with offices in Birmingham, England. The Weather Channel Companies are owned 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:
Linda Maynard    
WSI Corporation     
(978) 983-6715    

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

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Linda Maynard
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