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"Above-Average" Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins June 1

Insurers are eyeing June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season with nervousness. A majority of pre-season predictions point to a much more active hurricane...
May 26, 2010

Insurers are eyeing June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season with nervousness. A majority of pre-season predictions point to a much more active hurricane season this year.

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will be "above-average" in activity and produce 11 to 16 tropical storms, including six to eight hurricanes, according to a leading team of researchers led by renowned forecasting pioneer William Gray. The Colorado State University team said three to five of next year's storms would become "major" hurricanes of Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale.

Gray's team said there was a 64 percent chance that at least one such potentially deadly storm would make landfall on the U.S. coastline in 2010 compared to a long-term average probability of 52 percent.

For the Gulf Coast, from the Florida Panhandle west to Brownsville, Texas, including the Gulf of Mexico oil patch, the probability of a major hurricane making landfall was seen at 40 percent versus a long-term average of 30 percent.

Gray's team cautioned that extended-range forecasts for hurricane activity are imprecise and can often miss the mark.

Warmer sea surface temperatures and a transition to neutral El Nio conditions are expected to enhance hurricane activity. Complicating matters is the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A hurricane landing on Gulf coast beaches could distribute oil from the spill into low-lying coastal areas.

Active 2010 Hurricane Season Predicted (Reuters 5/18/10)
 
2010 Hurricane Season Will Be More Active (AccuWeather 4/1/10)
 
IBHS: Top Six Ways to Hurricane-Proof a Building (National Underwriter 5/19/10)

 

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