'Active' Atlantic Hurricane Season on Tap for 2009

NEW YORK (Dow Jones Newswires), December 23, 2008

The Atlantic hurricane season will be unusually active in 2009 amid warm ocean temperatures and wind conditions that are conducive to storm development, private forecaster WSI Corp. predicted Tuesday.

WSI, based in Andover, Mass., is forecasting 13 named storms, seven hurricanes and three hurricanes of Category 3 or higher in 2009, surpassing the 1950-2008 average of 9.8 named storms, six hurricanes and 2.5 intense hurricanes.

If WSI's forecast is accurate, the 2009 hurricane season will fall just short of 2008's storm activity. There were 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and five intense hurricanes in 2008, which brought the destructive Gulf of Mexico hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

"Since 1995, most tropical seasons have been more active than the long-term averages, due to warmer Atlantic Ocean temperatures," said Todd Crawford, WSI seasonal forecaster, in a prepared statement. "We do not see any reason why this active regime will not continue in 2009."

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