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WSI Adds Another Intense Hurricane to Tropical Forecast

WSI Corp., which already forecast an active 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, upped the ante slightly in an update of its tropical forecast, calling for 14 named storms and eight hurricanes, including four intense hurricanes (Category 3 or greater) to form between June 1 and Nov. 30.

WSI forecasters said an active hurricane season will arise from the continuation of warmer-than-normal Atlantic Ocean temperature anomalies into the summer and fall and the likelihood of a favorable or neutral wind shear environment on the heels of the La Nina event.

"Since 1995, most tropical seasons have been more active than the long-term averages due to warmer Atlantic Ocean temperatures. We do not see any reason why this active regime will not continue in 2008," said WSI seasonal forecaster Todd Crawford. "The current La Nina event, which is decaying somewhat this spring, should leave behind a wind shear environment that is favorable for the development of tropical systems in the summer and fall of 2008. We have increased our forecast slightly based on continued Atlantic warming in recent months, along with the persistence, albeit a bit weaker, of the La Nina event."

WSI's newest forecast numbers are significantly higher than the 1950-2007 averages of 9.7 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes, and 2.3 intense hurricanes. Last year 15 named storms, six hurricanes and two intense hurricanes, Dean and Felix, were created during the Atlantic hurricane season.

In its preliminary tropical storm forecast issued in January, WSI predicted 14 named storms and seven hurricanes, including three intense hurricanes (see Daily GPI, Jan. 3).

Earlier this month MDA EarthSat forecasters also said the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be busier than average but quieter than last year (see Daily GPI, April 16). MDA EarthSat forecasters said 13 named storms, six hurricanes and three intense or major hurricanes are likely to form during the coming Atlantic hurricane season.

Weather forecasters at Colorado State University (CSU) recently said the U.S. Atlantic basin will likely experience a well above-average hurricane season this year and odds are nearly even that a major hurricane will make landfall on the Gulf Coast (see Daily GPI, April 10). The CSU team's forecast called for 15 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin, with eight of the storms predicted to become hurricanes, four of them intense or major hurricanes.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have bucked the trend, saying warmer ocean waters could mean fewer Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States this year (see Daily GPI, Jan. 24).

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