GERMANTOWN, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Earth Networks™, the owner of the WeatherBug® brand and operator of the largest weather observing and lightning network, releases its 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast today. The WeatherBug Meteorology team calls for an above-average season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 every year in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin that consists of the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Earth Networks - WeatherBug Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast 2011 includes the following predictions:
- Overall Outlook: The Atlantic hurricane season will be above average, but less active than last year. A total of 13 to 14 named storms are expected to form in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin. The long-term average is about 10 storms.
- Hurricanes: Seven to eight of these storms will become hurricanes, and four are predicted to become major hurricanes with possible winds in excess of 111 mph. The long-term average is about six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
- U.S. Landfall Threat: An above-average forecast does not necessarily mean there is a greater likelihood of a hurricane landfall in the U.S. Last year’s hurricane season was much above normal, but no hurricanes made landfall in the U.S.
By comparison, The Colorado State University tropical forecast team on April 6 predicted 16 tropical storms, nine hurricanes and five major hurricanes this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane forecast will be issued May 19.
Why the above-average outlook? Earth Networks Chief Meteorologist Mark Hoekzema explains, “While water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean are warmer than average in key tropical cyclone development areas, they are not as warm as last year. La Niña conditions, which usually favor the formation of tropical storms, are forecasted to weaken throughout the summer. Neutral conditions are expected during the prime hurricane months from August through October. However, tropical systems can form at any time during the season.”
Additional contributors to this above-average forecast include a recent historical pattern of 12 active hurricane seasons. Previous years with similar climate conditions have also been more active than average. Similarities of this year’s weather to years such as 2008 and 1996 also point toward an increased potential for a land-falling hurricane to impact the U.S. this year.
About the Earth Networks – WeatherBug Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast
Every spring, a team of WeatherBug Meteorologists at Earth Networks evaluates historical and breaking weather information to forecast the likelihood and intensity of tropical storm and hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Elements the team looks at include global atmospheric and oceanic temperatures readings and trends, the state of the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation, drought conditions in tropical and sub-Saharan Africa, and long-term computer forecast models.
Be Prepared, Stay Informed
Now is the time for Americans living near and along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Create and update a hurricane emergency plan and stock a hurricane emergency kit with fresh provisions. Visit the WeatherBug Hurricane Center for steps you can take today to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.
Be sure to turn to the WeatherBug desktop app, website and mobile phone apps for the latest weather in your neighborhood, breaking severe weather alerts, and 2011 hurricane season coverage. Get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter at http://twitter.com/WxBug_WxBuzz.
Emergency management teams, state and local governments, and energy and utility organizations utilize the WeatherBug Hurricane Forecast and the real-time information from the WeatherBug network to anticipate and monitor conditions throughout the hurricane season when making critical trading and operational decisions.
About Earth Networks™
Earth Networks operates the largest weather observation and lightning networks in the world and is establishing a global environmental data network on an unprecedented scale. Earth Networks owns and operates the WeatherBug brand, which precisely monitors, organizes and distributes global weather information. The WeatherBug consumer brand (http://www.weatherbug.com) reaches millions as a trusted source for live, local weather information, while the WeatherBug professional brand (http://www.weatherbugprofessional.com) serves a variety of markets that include federal, state and local governments, education, agriculture, energy and utilities, sports and recreation, media and transportation. Each day, consumers and organizations, including the National Weather Service, turn to WeatherBug to plan daily activities, safeguard lives and improve business operations. Earth Networks is based in Germantown, Maryland and is online at www.earthnetworks.com.
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