University repeats forecast for busy storm season

03 June 2008 16:15  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US meteorologists at Colorado State University (CSU) are predicting an above-average number of tropical storms to form in the Atlantic basin this year, the school said on Tuesday.

The prediction varies little from the one that the meteorologists released in April.

Hurricanes can disrupt the North American petrochemical industry, since oil and gas production is concentrated in Gulf of Mexico and much of the country's plants are located on the US Gulf coast.

Even the threat of a major storm can disrupt oil and natural gas supplies, with companies having to evacuate Gulf platforms as a precaution.

The university expects 15 named storms to form in the Atlantic basin, eight of which would become hurricanes and four of which would have winds of at least 111 miles (179km)/hour.

Already, one tropical storm, Arthur, has formed in the Atlantic basin.

"Conditions in the tropical Atlantic look quite favourable for an active hurricane season," according to Phil Klotzbach, the lead author of the forecast. "Sea surface temperatures are anomalously warm, while sea level pressures and levels of vertical wind shear are quite low."

Overall, the CSU forecasters expect tropical storm activity will be 160% of the average season.

The long-term average for storm activity is 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 hurricanes with winds of at least 111 miles/hour.

For this season, there is a 69% chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the US coastline, CSU said.

There is a 45% chance that the landfall will be on the US East coast, and a 44% chance that one will land on the Gulf coast.


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source: Colorado State University

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