Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cruising in the 2009 Hurricane Season

Here's some good news if you are planning a Caribbean cruise this year during hurricane season, running from June 1 to Nov 30. The Colorado State University team that forecasts storm activity is predicting only six Atlantic hurricanes this year, which is lower than its previous estimate. Should that prediction prove to be accurate, the 2009 season will be much calmer than 2008, one of the most active seasons on record with 16 tropical storms, including eight that became hurricanes.

Of the 12 predicted tropical cyclones (what forecasters call "named storms") for 2009, six are forecast to become hurricanes, including two expected to develop into intense or major hurricanes of Category Three or higher. Earlier predictions called for 14 tropical cyclones for the 2009 hurricane season. The potential for a weak El Nino maritime temperature fluctuation, along with an unusual cooling of tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures that has been observed in recent months, form the basis of the CSU team's projection. Researchers point out that cooler water temperatures tend to make for a less active hurricane season in the region.

"We are calling for an average hurricane season this year; about as active as the average of the 1950-2000 seasons," according to the team's lead forecaster, Phil Klotzbach. Forecast updates will be issued on June 2, Aug 4, Sept 2, and Oct 1.

Global warming? Cooler water temperatures? What global warming? Should you be concerned about a tropical storm or hurricane ruining your cruise travel plans? It only takes one ill-timed hurricane to shuffle Caribbean bound cruise ships. shares what you need to know when Cruising in Hurricane Season.

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