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“Slightly above-normal” 2013 Atlantic hurricane season ahead

Forecasters predict 3 major hurricanes in 2013

Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), part of Aon Benfield Research’s academic and industry collaboration, has forecast a slightly above-normal 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.

TSR’s Professor Mark Saunders and Dr. Adam Lea are forecasting 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 3 major (Category 3+) hurricanes between the months of June and November in 2013.

Read: 2012 Atlantic hurricane season “above-normal”

In its preliminary forecast, TSR specifies two primary reasons as to why the US will see a slightly more active hurricane season.

Firstly, current forecast computer model projections continue to indicate that trade winds over the Caribbean Sea and the tropical North Atlantic will be slightly weaker than normal during the July through September timeframe. These lighter winds will provide a lowered amount of vertical wind shear and should allow tropical cyclones to form without any significant atmospheric hindrance.

Read: Sandy caused an estimated $100 million in insured losses in Ontario and Quebec

The second factor is the long range projection of warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean’s main development region during the peak months of August and September.

TSR stresses that there remains a high level of uncertainly in both of these predictors at this extended lead time.

Colorado State University (CSU) has also released its preliminary expectations for the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Though CSU did not provide a specific quantitative outlook, it assigned a 40% chance that there will be 12 to 15 named storms, seven to nine hurricanes, and three to four major hurricanes.

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