Private Forecaster Still Sees Quiet Hurricane Season

August 25, 2009

Private weather forecaster WSI Corp. said on Monday it still sees a quiet 2009 Atlantic hurricane season with conditions not conducive to an active year for violent storms.

WSI’s updated forecast predicted a season of 10 named storms, five hurricanes and two intense hurricanes of category 3 or greater, unchanged from its July forecast. In July, WSI cut its forecast from 11 named storms to 10.

“The forecast numbers continue from July to August because there have been no significant changes in the current El Nino event,” said WSI seasonal forecaster Todd Crawford.

The number of expected storms is close to the 1950-2008 average, but is much lower than the numbers seen during the past 15 years.

Water temperature and wind conditions in the Atlantic have so far made for a relatively quiet hurricane season this year, and while the first hurricane of the season, Bill, skirted eastern North America last week, this year is expected to be quieter than 2008.

“Ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic have warmed up considerably during the past month, but this warming likely represents only a shallow surface layer and probably isn’t indicative of any substantial increase in total available energy,” said Crawford.

Last year, 16 named storms were generated, disrupting U.S. oil and gas operations and damaging communities along the Gulf Coast.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. WSI’s next and last hurricane forecast will be issued on Sept. 23.

(Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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