Up to 11 hurricanes may hit Atlantic basin, forecasters

23 May 2013 19:56  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The 2013 hurricane season is expected to be active or extremely active in the US Atlantic basin, with up to 11 hurricanes possibly forming this year, meteorologists said on Thursday.

The hurricane season starts on 1 June and lasts through 30 November. During that time, there is a 70% chance that 13-20 named storms will form, having wind speeds of at least 39 miles/hour (63 km/hour), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Of those storms, 7-11 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 miles/hour or higher, and 3-6 storms of those could become major hurricanes with winds of 111 miles/hour or higher, NOAA said.

During a typical season, 12 named storms will form in the Atlantic basin, of which six would be hurricanes and three would be major hurricanes.

NOAA officials stressed that its predictions are not landfall forecasts. NOAA also said that there have been improvements made to forecast modelling and data gathering, and that new technology will allow it to better gauge storm intensity.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can affect the US petrochemical and refining sector because oil and gas production is concentrated in the Gulf. In addition, many of the industry’s manufacturing plants are on the US Gulf coast.

Atlantic hurricanes also may turn north to track along the US east coast, which also has a concentration of chemicals manufacturing facilities.

In the 2005 hurricane season, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita made landfall on the US Gulf coast, causing multiple casualties, extensive damage and shutdown of many petrochemical and refining facilities.

Additional reporting by Joe Kamalick

By: Andrew Guy Jr
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