In what has become a well received annual resource for the marine-insurance industry, Watkins Superyachts has produced another in their annual Pre Season Storm Forecasts
Issued for the Atlantic basin, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean areas Watkins also issue daily monitoring bulletins to underwriters, insurance brokers, yacht Captains, fleet management and offshore energy interests.
From now until the end of the storm season, Watkins will be producing a daily synopsis of conditions across the tropical convergence zone – with more detailed and frequent updates of live storms.
Captain Adrian McCourt the Principle at Watkins Superyachts said, “ There are significant changes this year to the deciding factors for hurricane forecasting compared to last year. These are not always crystal clear and the El Nino argument differs between forecasters.”
“In simple terms, in the Pacific Ocean, the effect of El Nino is to produce higher wind shear over the Atlantic basin which stifles storm production. When this cycles and becomes reversed, it is known as La Nina which produces less upper level wind shear and thus encourages storm production.
“I avoid long range forecasts as far as possible having a seafarer’s healthy mistrust of armchair meteorologists who are never around when you are up to your knees in green water. Nevertheless, I’ll take a stab at this, taking a mean across the board of the forecasters I believe, and ignoring the catastrophists and incompetents who I don’t.
The Watkins Report suggests that there will be:
- Named storms 12
- Hurricanes 5
- Cat 3 and above 2/3
This years the allocated names are:
Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby (sic), Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie, William
Obviously, the less storms there are, then the less likelihood of impact in the Gulf of Mexico or landfalls in the United States, but this is not necessarily proportional and there is some consensus amongst the competent that there are elevated areas for concern for the coming season for the north–central Gulf Coast (south east Texas to the Florida panhandle) and for southern Florida.
From now until the end of the storm season, Watkins will be producing a daily synopsis of conditions across the tropical convergence zone with more detailed and frequent updates of live storms.