Weather Services International has reduced the number of storms it is predicting for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, in a period that has already been slower than past years with extreme weather events.
WSI’s revised forecast allows for 10 named storms, 5 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. That’s down from a previous forecast of 11 named storms, 5 hurricanes and 2 major storms.
While the revision reflects a slight downward prediction for the year, both are much more conservative predictions than the statistical norm. From 1950 to 2013, the average ratio of severe weather events was 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. From 1995 to 2013, the average ratio was 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes, WSI said.
WSI noted that there have been only two named storms as of late August, reflecting the slowest start to the season in more than 20 years.
“Tropical Atlantic surface temperatures continue to run quite cool, which should help limit the number of storms that develop in the main development region during the upcoming peak of the season,” WSI Chief Meteorologist Todd Crawford said in a statement. “Using the latest objective guidance, and since the forecast models for the peak of the season are rather unimpressive, we have lowered our forecast slightly.”
WSI is the professional division of The Weather Co., which also owns The Weather Channel. It’s worth noting that WSI is considered The Weather Channel’s innovation engine and provides products for energy, aviation, insurance and media markets as well as some federal agencies. All are owned by a consortium that includes NBC Universal, plus private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.