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Bastardi Ups Hurricane Season Forecast to 18-21 Storms

By Story by Carly Porter, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer.
June 22, 2010, 9:37:26 AM EDT

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The 2010 hurricane season is set to become even more extreme, with 18-21 named storms now in the forecast, and some of those storms will impact the oil spill in the Gulf.

AccuWeather.com Chief Hurricane Meteorologist Joe Bastardi has upped his original forecast from 16-18 storms, to 18-21, with at least eight impacts and six hurricanes, and two or three of those hurricanes will have major landfalls. Only five years in the 160 years of records had 18 or more storms in a season.

"The hurricane season should have several hits on the U.S. coast from July through September, mainly in the Southeast and Gulf," said Bastardi.

Bastardi suggests that based on years with a similarly active hurricane forecast as 2010, at least two hurricanes and one tropical storm are set to move through the area of the Gulf oil spill by the end of the tropical season.


As many as three other tropical systems have the potential to track close enough to the spill to impact cleanup and capping operations, as well as other oil rig operations in the Gulf.

"Above-normal tropical activity should feature four named storms in July, with one or two impacting the coastal areas," said Bastardi.

August will also feature an influx of storms.

"August should have six named storms, with two of three impacts on the U.S. coastline," said Bastardi.

Bastardi predicts the heart of this season's storms will occur between Aug. 15 and Oct. 15.

"Not only will that period be more active than normal, but the run up to it, and the time after it," said Bastardi. "There could be a period where there is a group of naming, two or three going on at once and five in a 15- to 20-day period."


He is confident that tropical activity will occur before mid-August in the Gulf of Mexico, the estimated time frame at which BP expects the oil leak to be capped.

Back in February, Bastardi based his predictions for the 2010 season on the tropical activity of analog years 1995, 1998, 2005 and 2008.

Most of the past analog years Bastardi considered in his 2010 forecast for the Gulf had tropical activity before the middle of August.

Even later into the summer, hurricane season will continue to ramp up.


"By late August and September, the hurricane season should be front and center," said Bastardi. "Expect eight named storms in September and three or four U.S. impacts."

An extreme winter and now an above-normal hurricane season could place 2010 in the record books.

"It's hard to fathom another 12-month period where such wild swings would make weather so significant for such a large area of the population," said Bastardi.

Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

Related to the Story: What If a Hurricane Were to Slam into the Oil Slick? Oil in Wetlands Will Increase Hurricane Storm Surge 2010 Hurricane Center

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