Germantown, MD - WeatherBug®, the leading provider of consumer and professional weather services and operator of the largest weather observing network, released its 2010 hurricane season forecast today calling for an above-average season.
The weakening El Niño will mean favorable conditions for an active season. WeatherBug meteorologists are predicting 12 to 17 named storms during the 2010 hurricane season. Six to nine of the named storms are expected to strengthen into hurricanes with three to four reaching the major Category 3 status of winds greater than 111 mph or stronger.
"This hurricane season will be busy with more activity than last year due to several key factors. First, El Niño conditions, that limit the formation of tropical storms, are weakening and could transition to a weak La Niña by mid-season. Second, warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic are in place and may provide extra fuel for the production of more hurricanes. Our forecast trends are indicating favorable conditions in the Atlantic for hurricane developments in the late summer and early fall," said Mark Hoekzema, WeatherBug Chief Meteorologist.
El Niño creates stronger westerly winds in the upper atmosphere that prevent tropical weather systems from developing, especially in the Gulf and the Caribbean. Climactic conditions in Africa and the Sahara Desert may also have an impact on hurricane development later this summer. There is potential for more numerous African waves leading to an increased chance of storm formation. African dust can also play a significant role in mitigating tropical cyclone development, especially in late summer.
"WeatherBug is continuously monitoring the water temperatures in the central Pacific. There is uncertainty in the models on how quickly El Niño will weaken and potentially transition to a La Niña. A faster than expected transition to a neutral or La Niña phase would lean our storm forecast toward the higher part of the range, while slower would contribute to the opposite effect. Energy markets can prepare for above normal activity in the late summer and fall with the possibility of major hurricanes affecting oil rigs and production in the Atlantic Basin in addition to utilities facing outages and damage," continued Hoekzema.
The Atlantic Hurricane Basin consists of the tropical Atlantic north of the Equator, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The season begins June 1 and ends November 30 with the height of activity occurring from mid-September to early October. However, tropical systems can form at any time during the season.
Energy and utility organizations utilize the WeatherBug Hurricane Forecast and the real-time information from the WeatherBug network to anticipate and monitor conditions throughout the hurricane season when making critical trading and operational decisions.
The WeatherBug 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast was issued in conjunction with the WeatherBug Professional Energy Trader 2010 Summer Outlook Seminar in Houston, Texas on April 15th from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. The seminar hosted by WeatherBug Professional, in sponsorship with the CME Group and Commodity Weather Group, includes an agenda of presentations and discussions from industry experts including Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, Rice University, Citigroup Energy, NOAA-NWS-Climate Prediction Center, Commodity Weather Group, AER Inc. and WeatherBug Professional. Attending are representatives from energy and utility companies in addition to meteorologists and energy traders to discuss industry news, breakthrough technology, and the effects the upcoming summer weather will have on the energy industry and markets.
WeatherBug (http://www.weatherbug.com and http://www.weatherbugprofessional.com) precisely monitors, organizes and disseminates global weather information. As a trusted source for live, local dynamic data, WeatherBug empowers society with weather intelligence for making more informed decisions. Millions of consumers and professional organizations, including the National Weather Service, rely on WeatherBug to plan daily activities, safeguard lives and improve business operations. WeatherBug is a brand of AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc. (http://www.aws.com)