Although the 2009 season was relatively calm, AccuWeather.com Chief Hurricane Meteorologist Joe Bastardi predicts 16 to 18 storms this season. Only eight years in the 160 years of records have had at least 16 storms in a season.
The season should start early with one or two threats by early July, and stay late with more threats extending well into October.
Bastardi’s forecast team expects at least six storms to impact the United States coastline- slightly more than one out of every three.
In an average year, one out of every five named storms in the Atlantic basin impacts the U.S.
In the 2005 season, 36% of the storms affected the U.S., while half impacted the country in 1998 and 2008. Bastardi observes a rapid warming of the Gulf of Mexico and the collapsing El Nino pattern, which were both characteristics of the 1998 and 2005 seasons.
Named storms moving through the Gulf of Mexico and the collapsing El Nino patter, which were both characteristics of the 1998 and 2005 seasons. Named storms moving through the Gulf of Mexico can cause major disruption to both oil and gas production. In 2008, shutdown of production caused a decline in production of 62 million barrels of oil and 408 billion cubic feet of gas. In the record-setting season of 2005, nearly three months of production time was lost.
In the heart of the season, there will be a congregation of tracks or a concentrated area where many of the storm tracks will pass.