Posts Tagged ‘2009 Hurricane Season’

Experts Dial Down Hurricane Forecasts

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

The forecasting team at Colorado State University revised its forecast for the 2009 Atlantic storm season, reducing the number of predicted hurricanes from eleven to four. Based on El Niño events early in the season (the season begins on June 1, but historically, the date of the first hurricane is typically August 14), the storm season is likely to be calmer than originally thought. El Niño is the phenomenon of Pacific Ocean warming that affects global weather patterns. It tends to correlate with increased vertical wind shear that weakens tropical storms before they can form hurricanes.  The forecast now calls for ten named tropical storms, with four likely to become hurricanes and two of the four expected to become major hurricanes (meaning wind speeds of 111 mph or more). This is welcome news at any time, but particularly in this difficult economy, with fewer financial resources available to support disaster relief efforts.

Tough Economy Means Tough Choices This Hurricane Season

Monday, June 1st, 2009
Can We Afford It?

Can We Afford It?

Today marks the beginning of the 2009 hurricane season and with it, heightened anxiety among Gulf Coast residents.  We are particularly vulnerable as the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 12% of the population, close to 36 million Americans, live in areas at risks to Atlantic storms. Last year, in response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Louisiana evacuated two million of its residents from the coastal areas, the largest mobilization in its history. They are preparing to do so again this year and increase the number of residents who may be sheltered within the state. In an earlier blog posting, I wrote about how the team at the New Orleans Small Business Development Center told me of their clients who did not have the funds to pay for a fourth evacuation in the 2008 hurricane season should one be called. State officials realize that the 2009 season may be worse, as with the weak economy, many people won’t be able to afford the cost of the evacuation and may choose instead to shelter in place which, as the events of Hurricane Katrina showed, could be a fatal option.

Experts Predict an Average Hurricane Season in 2009

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
Hopeful Outlook for 2009

Hopeful Outlook for 2009

The hurricane forecast team of Colorado State University recently released their predictions for the 2009 hurricane season: they expect twelve named storms in the Atlantic basin, with six of them to develop into hurricanes. They expect two of those six to develop into major hurricanes (meaning Categories 3, 4 or 5 with maximum wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or greater). Since 1950, there have been ten named storms (of which six became hurricanes and two of those six major hurricanes) in the typical Atlantic hurricane season, which would make the forecast for 2009 to be an average storm season. The current forecast estimates the probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline to be about 54%, which is roughly equal to the 52% occurrence of this past century.  The National Hurricane Center has assigned the following names to the 2009 Atlantic hurricanes:

  • Ana
  • Bill
  • Claudette
  • Danny
  • Erika
  • Fred
  • Grace
  • Henri
  • Ida
  • Joaquin
  • Kate
  • Larry
  • Mindy
  • Nicholas
  • Odette
  • Peter
  • Rose
  • Sam
  • Teresa
  • Victor
  • Wanda