MIAMI, April 20 (Reuters) — The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season will produce 11 tropical storms, of which six will become hurricanes, WSI Corp predicted Monday.
The Andover, Massachusetts, private forecaster reduced its forecast from the one it issued in December, when it said the six-month season starting on June 1 would see 13 tropical storms, including seven hurricanes.
The lower forecast was due to cooler water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and a fading La Nina cool-water event in the eastern Pacific, the forecaster said.
WSI predicted that two of the six hurricanes would be “major” storms of Category 3 or higher on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity. Such storms are the most destructive type, with sustained winds winds of greater than 110 miles per hour (177 km per hour).
Another prominent storm forecaster, Colorado State University, also reduced its forecast recently.