Number Of Forecasted Atlantic Hurricanes Revised Upwards

Hurricane Gordon, the seventh named storm of the season, pictured by NASA over The Azores early on Monday.
In its updated tropical forecast for 2012, released today, WSI (Weather Services International) has increased the 2012 forecast to 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 intense hurricanes (category 3 or greater). 

These numbers are slightly higher than the previous forecast of 13/6/3, and are slightly higher to the adjusted long-term (1950-2011) averages of 12 named storms/7 hurricanes/3 intense hurricanes and slightly lower than the averages from the more active recent period (1995-2011) of 15/8/4.

“We have already had nine named storms and three hurricanes, and there is still about two-thirds of the season remaining. During recent emerging El Nino events, six to nine named storms and three to five hurricanes have formed after mid-August. This data, along with similar guidance from our statistical models have led us to increase our numbers again,” said Dr. Todd Crawford, WSI Chief Meteorologist. 

“One of the main drivers of this forecast increase is the continued warming of the North Atlantic, where ocean temperatures are now approaching those observed in the more active seasons in recent years. This extra “fuel” will be offset by the emerging El Nino event, which will provide a less favorable environment for storm development as the season progresses.”

Crawford also indicated that a changeable pattern means that all US coastal areas should remain alert to the potential for landfalling storms.
He added: “The current, cooler pattern in the eastern half of the country is more favorable for storms recurving out into the Atlantic or impacting the East Coast. However, as we head into September, we expect the evolving large-scale pattern to favor more southward-tracking storms and a greater Gulf threat. As a whole, for 2012, the current forecast from our landfall model depicts slightly below-normal probabilities of landfall from Florida and up the East Coast, with slightly above-normal probabilities in the Gulf.”