Joe Bastardi, one of the AccuWeather forecasters disputing the plethora of global warming claims, is predicting at least two hurricanes in Gulf oil spill area between now and the end of hurricane season. Three additional storms are predicted close enough to the spill area to affect clean-up areas. See a video below.
AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists, led by Chief Long-Range Meteorologist and Hurricane Forecaster Joe Bastardi, are calling for a much more active 2010 season with above-normal threats on the U.S. coastline.
"This year has the chance to be an extreme season," said Bastardi. "It is certainly much more like 2008 than 2009 as far as the overall threat to the United States' East and Gulf coasts."
Bastardi is forecasting seven landfalls. Five will be hurricanes, and two or three of the hurricanes will be major landfalls for the U.S.
He is calling for 16 to 18 tropical storms in total, 15 of which would be in the western Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico, and therefore a threat to land.
There are a number of physical drivers that have Bastardi concerned for this upcoming hurricane season. These include:
--The rapidly weakening El Niño.
--Warmer ocean temperatures in the typical Atlantic tropical breeding grounds compared to last year (tropical storms draw energy from warm water).
--Weakening trade winds which reduce the amount of dry air injected into the tropics from Africa.
--Higher humidity levels which provide additional upward motion in the air and fuel tropical storm development.
Bastardi compared a number of years to the upcoming season in terms of storm setup, including 1964, 1995, and 1998. All were major impact seasons for the U.S. coast.