Gulf Oil Blocks May Be at High Risk during 2009 Active Hurricane Season

The outlook for the 2009 Hurricane Season is not a good one for the Gulf coast from Louisiana to Alabama which has a 70% chance of experiencing a landfall of a tropical storm or hurricane. According to Houston based Weather Research Center’s meteorologist, Jill Hasling, the Center's outlook is forecasting that the 2009 Hurricane Season will have at least 7 named storms with 4 of these tropical storms intensifying into hurricanes.

Additionally, the outlook is forecasting that there will be 7 hurricane days and 47 tropical storm days. There have been two years in this phase, 1890 and 1914, with only one tropical cyclone. So hopefully, we will have a quieter season than in recent years. But one must remember it is not the number of cyclones that is important but rather where they make landfall. For example, there were only six named storms in 1965, but Hurricane Betsy made landfall in New Orleans as a Category 3 hurricane.

There have been two years in this phase with 11 named storms and one year with as many as 12 named storms.

Weather Research Center's OCSI 2009 Hurricane Season Forecast Indicates the Section of the US Coast with the Highest Risk of a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Landfall is from Louisiana to Alabama with a 70% Chance.



  • Mexico; 40%; 40%
  • Texas; 40%; 51%
  • Louisiana to Alabama; 70%; 59%
  • West Florida; 60%; 71%
  • East Florida; 30%; 41%
  • Georgia to N. Carolina; 50%; 56%
  • East Coast of US; 30%; 36%
  • Gulf Oil Blocks; 90%; 88%

Other 2009 Predictors from WRC's OCSI: OCSI Forecasts

  • Number of Named Storms: 7
  • Number intensifying into Hurricanes: 4
  • Number of Hurricane Days: 7
  • Number of Tropical Storm Days: 47
  • US Landfalls: 3
  • Cat 3 or Higher Storms in the Atlantic: 50%

The risk of tropical cyclones occurring in the Atlantic by month is:
May 10% -- June 50% -- July 30% -- August 80% -- September 100% --October 100% -- November 40%

The 2009 forecast is based on the activity in the following years: 1879, 1890, 1902, 1914, 1924, 1934, 1945, 1955, 1965, 1977, 1987 and 1997.

Significant storms in this Phase of the Orbital Cyclone Strike Index [OCSI]:

  • 1945 2 strong hurricanes -- Cat 4 on East Coast and Cat 3 along West Florida
  • 1945 3 strong hurricanes on the US Coast -- Cat 3 East Florida, Cat 4 Texas,
  • and Cat 4 in Miami
  • 1955 3 hurricanes moved up the east coast -- Connie, Diane and Ione
  • 1965 Hurricane Betsy moved into Louisiana

Weather Research Center’s (WRC) Orbital Cyclone Strike Index [OCSI] was developed in 1984 to indicate which section of the US coastline has the highest risk of experiencing a tropical storm or hurricane.

The Houston-based Weather Research Center is one of a handful of organizations that make seasonal hurricane predictions. WRC uses a model called Orbital Cyclone Strike Index (OCSI) which uses the solar cycle [an indication of the solar system’s orbit] to predict the risk for coastal residents each hurricane season. The OCSI model is based on the premise that there are orbital influences that are reflected in the global circulation
pattern on the sun as well as the global circulation pattern of the earth. These orbital influences are reflected in the 11.1 year sun spot cycle.

During the 25-year period from 1984 to 2008, there have only been three years (1987, 1992, and 1999) when a storm or hurricane did not make landfall in the section of the United States coastline that had the highest risk. In all three of these years, cyclones made landfall in the section of the coast with the second highest risk. This gives the OCSI an 88% accuracy rate.

In addition to its ongoing research, WRC also provides storm and hurricane information via the Internet through Storm Navigator®. This service helps provide detailed storm updates and related information. WRC’s current and past predictions can be found at