Preliminary forecast predicted calmer season this year
Hurricane season 2012 has arrived, bringing with it heightened concerns of strong natural disasters spawning in the Atlantic Ocean. In the U.S., the insurance industry may be prepared to weather yet another year of powerful storms, but insurers are holding onto hope for a calmer season than what they had seen in the past. Researchers from Colorado State University released a forecast concerning the activity of this year’s hurricane season in April, predicting that there would be no more than 10 tropical storms, four of which would evolve into hurricanes this year. Researchers have now released revisions to their forecast, highlighting a more active hurricane season.
Changing weather patterns cited as reason for revisions
According to the forecast released in April, only 2 of the 4 hurricanes that would have been formed from tropical storms would have been considered major. Though these hurricanes would have been powerful, there is no telling whether they would have made landfall. Last year, Hurricane Irene proved that forecasts are not an exact science when it cut a swath of destruction along the East Coast of the U.S. Colorado State University suggest that a similar event may be possible because of the changing weather patterns they have been seeing.
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As many as 5 hurricanes expected this year
Researchers have revised their original forecast, predicting that no less than 14 tropical storms will form during this year’s hurricane season. The forecast suggests that five hurricanes will form in the Atlantic Ocean, with two major hurricanes spawning with the potential to make landfall. Researchers note that two tropical storms that formed before the official beginning of the season may hint to more activity in the coming months.
Storms could affect 12% of U.S. population
Approximately 12% of the U.S. population lives along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Many of these people hold insurance policies that protect them from damages that could be caused by a hurricane. A large portion of consumers do not have such coverage, however, either because it is not available in their area or because it is too expensive.