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Hurricane Season: WSI Predicts More Activity Than In Quiet 2009, Georgia And Carolinas At More Risk

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From a company press release

Andover, Mass., January 27, 2010 -- In its first hurricane season report for 2010, WSI Corporation -- a part of The Weather Channel companies -- calls for 13 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater).

The 2010 forecast numbers fall between the long-term (1950-2009) averages of 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes and the averages from the more active recent 15-year period (1995-2009) of 14/8/4.

Further, WSI's hurricane landfall forecasting model (developed in collaboration with reinsurance intermediary Guy Carpenter) suggests that Georgia and the Carolinas are most at risk this season, with near to slightly-below normal risks along other parts of the US coastline.

"2009 was the quietest tropical season since 1997, as an emerging El Nino event combined with relatively cool tropical Atlantic waters to suppress widespread development," said WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford. "The previous five El Nino events have all been followed by significant increases in tropical activity the following summer as the vertical shear weakens and the tropical Atlantic warms up. We expect a similar result this summer, and feel that our current forecast numbers are more likely to be adjusted upwards rather than downwards as we get closer to the season."

Crawford also indicated that the Southeast 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 Georgia and the Carolinas are at greatest risk for hurricane landfall this season. This model correctly predicted an active Gulf season in 2008 and a quiet season in 2009."

WSI's next seasonal forecast update, which will include forecasts for spring and early summer temperatures, will be issued on February 23. The next update on the 2010 tropical season will be released on April 21.