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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April update lowers forecast for 2012 hurricane season

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday April 18, 2012 – The latest Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) forecast update for Atlantic hurricane activity this year anticipates slightly below-norm activity.

Based on current and projected climate signals, Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity is forecast to be about 5-10 percent below the 1950-2011 long-term norm, but 30 percent below the recent 2002-2011 ten-year norm.

The forecast calls for 12-13 named storms, 5-6 hurricanes and 2-3 major (Category 3+) hurricanes.

This forecast spans the period from June 01 to November 30, 2012, and employs data through to the end of March 2012.

The key factors behind the TSR forecast for a slightly below-average hurricane season are the anticipated effect of cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical north Atlantic during summer 2012 and the dissipation of La Nina conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean.  These factors would help suppress Atlantic hurricane activity.

United States landfalling activity, meanwhile, is forecast to be close to the 1950-2011 long-term norm.

TSR noted that forecasting skill climbs slowly as the hurricane season approaches.  Moderate skill levels are reached by early June and good skill levels are achieved from early August.

The next TSR forecast update for this year’s hurricane season will be a pre-season forecast issued on May 25.


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