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Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 03/19/2009

AccuWeather's Bastardi Issues Hurricane Outlook

By Jason Samenow

*Showery and turning cooler: Full Forecast *

It's hard to believe, but hurricane season is a mere 10 weeks away. Leading up to the June 1 start date, a number of organizations will release seasonal outlooks. Yesterday, AccuWeather got things started, releasing Chief Hurricane Forecaster Joe Bastardi's 2009 take on the tropics.

Bastardi is calling for a slightly above average season with 13 named storms, 8 of which will become hurricanes. He predicts four will impact the U.S., with one major (category 3 or higher) hurricane landfall. Last season, by comparison, had 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 8 storms which impacted the U.S.

"Early indications show a reduction in the overall number of named storms and of major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin compared to last year, but the number of storms should still be near or a little above normal," Bastardi said.

Keep reading for more on Bastardi's outlook, including a video summary...

Bastardi notes an increased threat of activity around the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts compared to last year, with less action in the Gulf of Mexico.

Watch the video below for a summary of his outlook:

For much more detail, see also these videos:

Part 3 is especially interesting -- not on account of its global warming commentary (which some would argue is flawed -- but that's a subject for Andrew) -- but for its assessment of the vulnerability of mid-Atlantic and northeast cities to hurricanes.

By Jason Samenow  | March 19, 2009; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Given the AccuWeather tendency towards sensationalism, I'd take Bastardi's projection with a grain or two of salt.

Both he and I seem to be calling an ENSO switch towards El Nino this summer, which should tend to dampen the Atlantic threat as the hurricane season progresses. It's also possible that increased dust blowing out to sea from Africa could cut down on tropical cyclone formation.

Will try and check on other outlooks as the season progresses. It will be interesting to see what Allan Huffman/Raleigh WX says when he releases his outlook.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 19, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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