Forecasters predict more storms in Caribbean

| 28/04/2011

(CNS):A US based weather service provider says it expects more hurricanes to form in the gulf and the Caribbean Sea during the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season. Weather Services International revised its predictions for the season this week down from 17 named storms to 15 with 8 hurricanes, 4 of which are expected to be intense. Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford said the surface temperatures in the region are particularly warm this year. “We expect more development in these regions and less in the eastern tropical Atlantic,” Crawford stated. The predictors said while the 2011 season may not be highly active for generating storms, the storms that do form are more likely to make landfall, particularly along the US Gulf coast.

“Storms developing in the Gulf and Caribbean are a much greater threat to make landfall along the US coast than those that develop off the coast of Africa,” the WSI weather chief said. “For this reason and since our hurricane landfall prediction model suggests sharply increased chances of US landfall in 2011, especially in the western Gulf states, we expect two or three land-falling hurricanes this season. This is not particularly unusual, since historically 43% of years have had multiple hurricane landfalls. The forecast numbers from our model are quite similar to those prior to the 2008 season, when Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav, and Ike impacted Louisiana and Texas.”

The WSI 2011 forecast numbers are above the long-term (1950-2010) averages of 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes and match the averages from the more active recent period since 1995.

The experts said that weather patterns have resulted in a cooling of the tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures so they now expect slightly less storms that they predicted in their first long term seasonal forecast in December.

“We do expect another active season in 2011, although not to the level of 2005 or 2010. However, while we expect less overall activity this year, we do expect a much more impactful season along the US coastline. The US has been spared from any land-falling hurricanes since 2008, and the hurricane drought in 2009 and 2010 is relatively rare in the historical record.

“In fact, the US has not had a three-year stretch without a hurricane landfall since the 1860s. Further, 80 percent of all years in the historical dataset have had at least one hurricane landfall in the US. Our recent good fortune in avoiding land-falling hurricanes is not likely to last,” Dr Crawford added.

“The lack of US landfalls in 2010 was primarily due to a persistent western Atlantic trough that essentially protected the US East Coast from any direct hits. We do not expect this feature to be in place this year during late summer and fall when most tropical storms occur.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    And the still inflated premiums of the insurance companies are again justified for another year.

  2. Remitted Omitted says:

    I’ve already started my grand collection of food and water. The generators are serviced and ready for action. Another season in Hurricane Alley…

  3. Pending says:

    "A US based weather service provider says it expects more hurricanes to form in the gulf and the Caribbean Sea during the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season".

    Well done Sherlock.