Earth Networks’ WeatherBug Meteorology Team Forecasts Normal But Active 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Germantown, MD - May 23, 2012 – Earth NetworksSM, the owner of WeatherBug® and operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks, releases its 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast today. The WeatherBug Meteorology team calls for a near-normal Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin. The season, which generally runs from June 1 to November 30 every year, got off to an early start with the formation of the first named storm, Tropical Storm Alberto, on the northeast Florida Coast this month. The Atlantic Hurricane Basin consists of the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Earth Networks - WeatherBug Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast 2012 includes the following predictions:
· Overall Outlook: The Atlantic hurricane season will see a total of 11 to 13 named storms form in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin. The 30-year average is about 12 storms.
· Hurricanes: Six or seven of these storms could become hurricanes, and two to four are predicted to become major hurricanes with possible winds in excess of 111 mph. The long-term average is about six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
· U.S. Landfall Threat: The potential for a U.S. landfall appears to be near normal for the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season. In 2011, Hurricane Irene became the only hurricane that made U.S. landfall, yet claimed over 45 lives and caused enormous widespread damage totaling more than $7 billion.
What are the driving factors for the “near-normal” outlook? Earth Networks Senior Meteorologist James Aman explains, “The favorable La Niña conditions noted in 2011 have now ended, with neutral El Niño - La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions expected this summer. A weak El Niño might develop by this autumn, which could be a slightly negative factor for the latter part of the hurricane season. This will tend to be balanced by the favorable phase of the long-term Atlantic multi-decade cycle. In addition, water temperatures in the Atlantic basin are closer to normal, and are not as warm as they were for the above-normal season in 2011.”
“Overall weather patterns are expected to be closer to normal this summer, indicating a near-normal threat for a land-falling hurricane to impact the U.S. this year,” continues Aman. “This is in contrast to last year, when the majority of tropical systems remained well offshore out in the Atlantic Ocean.”
In comparison, The Colorado State University tropical forecast team on April 4 predicted a below-normal season, with 10 named tropical storms, four hurricanes and two major hurricanes this season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane forecast will be issued May 24.
About the Earth Networks – WeatherBug Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast
Every spring, a team of WeatherBug Meteorologists at Earth Networks evaluates historical and breaking weather information to forecast the likelihood and intensity of tropical storm and hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Elements the team looks at include global atmospheric and oceanic temperatures readings and trends, the state of the El Niño - La Niña Southern Oscillation, various climate indices, and long-term computer forecast models.
Be Prepared, Stay Informed
Now is the time for Americans living near and along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Create and update a hurricane emergency plan and stock a hurricane emergency kit with fresh provisions. Visit the WeatherBug Hurricane Center for steps you can take today to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.
Be sure to turn to the WeatherBug desktop app, website and mobile phone apps for the latest weather in your neighborhood, breaking severe weather alerts, and 2012 hurricane season coverage. Get updates anywhere on Twitter at http://twitter.com/WeatherBug.
Emergency management teams, state and local governments, and energy and utility organizations utilize the Earth Networks - WeatherBug Hurricane Forecast and the real-time information from the company’s network to anticipate and monitor conditions throughout the hurricane season when making critical operational decisions.
About Earth NetworksSM
As a provider of comprehensive atmospheric data for nearly 20 years, Earth Networks is Taking the Pulse of the Planet with the world’s largest weather observation, lightning detection, and greenhouse gas monitoring networks and is establishing a network for collecting data within the planetary boundary layer. The company’s popular WeatherBug website, desktop application and mobile apps for major smartphone platforms provide real-time neighborhood-level weather and advanced severe weather alerts to millions of consumers. Enterprise solutions from Earth Networks enable organizations and markets, including energy and utilities, agriculture, schools, sports and recreation, emergency operations and government entities, to safeguard lives, prepare for weather and climate events and improve business operations. Founded in 1993, Earth Networks (www.earthnetworks.com) is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with additional locations in Mountain View, Calif.; New York, NY; Milan, Italy and a local presence in 50 countries worldwide.