Calls for Increased Risk of A Destructive Storm from the Carolinas to New England
(State College, PA - May 12, 2008) - AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists, led by Chief Long-Range and Hurricane Forecaster Joe Bastardi, have released an expanded hurricane season forecast for 2008. The forecast calls for a near average overall number of named storms but suggests a heightened risk for the eastern U.S. coastline.
"Although we are forecasting a total of 12 named storms in 2008, much more important than the forecast storm number are the facts that a relatively high percentage of tropical storms are expected to make landfall and that the major threat area is farther north than normal," said Bastardi. "We believe at least 40% of named storms will cause tropical storm or hurricane conditions on the U.S. coastline, which is about 1.6 times the norm."
The forecasts state that a weakening La Niña and near-normal or below-normal water temperature in most of the tropical breeding grounds of the Caribbean and south Atlantic will reduce the overall number of storms. However, with warm waters near the north Atlantic coastline, storms may form closer to the coast resulting in a higher than average storm threat on the East Coast, from the Carolinas to New England.
"Our forecast is that two or three storms will bring at least tropical storm force winds to the coastline between Florida and New England, including one or two that bring hurricane force winds, and one major hurricane," said Bastardi. "And, the Gulf of Mexico will have a normal distribution of tropical cyclone activity, with energy interests experiencing at least 7 to 10 days with disruptions or threats of disruptions. Specifically, the forecast is for two or three storms that affect the energy infrastructure in and around the Gulf and bring at least tropical storm force winds to the Gulf coast, including one or two that bring hurricane force winds."
Bastardi and the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center have looked at 1985, 1989, 1996 and 1999 as years to compare to this season. In all of these years, major storms hit from the Carolinas northward. The best chance for early storm development is in the western or central Gulf area, from 90W longitude westward. This is based primarily on very warm water in the western and central Gulf, cool water in the western Caribbean, the expected June steering currents in the central Gulf and a drier than normal pattern in the northwest Caribbean lasting into July. The primary period of hurricane threat will run from mid-August to mid-October and will encompass the entire Gulf and Atlantic areas.
Bastardi presented his full forecast at the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Summit in Houston, TX to an audience of leaders in industries most impacted by tropical weather. Further details are available to Bastardi's AccuWeather.com EnergyPro® clients. To learn more about the Bastardi based forecasting services, visit www.AccuWeather.com/Bastardi.
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