WSI ups 2010 hurricane forecast to 20 named storms
The forecast is significantly above the long-term average taken between 1950-2009, which shows 10 named storms.
Tue, Jun 22 2010 at 7:01 PM
STORMY WEATHER: WSI says the coastal region from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Maine will be twice as likely than normal to experience a hurricane this season. (Photo: NOAA/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - Private forecaster Weather Services International said Tuesday that its latest forecast called for a more active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.
Forecasters at WSI are calling for 20 named storms, 11 hurricanes and five intense hurricanes of a category 3 or greater. The forecast adds two storms and one hurricane to a WSI prediction released in May.
The forecast is significantly above the long-term average taken between 1950-2009 which shows 10 named storms, six hurricanes and two intense hurricanes.
Forecasters at WSI expect the coastal region from the Outer Banks of North Carolina north to Maine will be twice as likely than normal to experience a hurricane this season.
The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be as active as 2005 when a record four major hurricanes hit the United States, severely disrupting U.S. oil and natural gas operations along the Gulf of Mexico.
Sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central tropical Atlantic are "even warmer than the freakishly active season of 2005," said WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford in a statement.
The El Nino weather pattern has died down which would allow storms to form without threat of wind curbing their strength, Crawford adds.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina was responsible for the deaths of around 1,500 people on the U.S. Gulf Coast and caused more than $115 billion in damages.
The damages from Katrina and Rita, which hit the same year, shut some refineries for months resulting in about 142 million barrels of oil product loss.
Offshore drilling in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is responsible for roughly 30 percent of total domestic oil production and 11 percent of natural gas production, according to 2009 government figures.
(Reporting by Jeanine Prezioso; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
Copyright 2010 Reuters Environmental Online Report
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