, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

May 5, 2010

Above average hurricane season predicted

BEAUMONT — All of the ingredients for a hurricane will be in place, causing experts to predict an above aveage hurricane season.

Chris Hebert, lead hurricane meteorologist for Impact Weather Inc., presented an early outlook for the 2010 season during a roundtable discussion with media at the MCM Elegante Hotel Wednesday.

Hebert, who has 30 years of experience in meteorology, said there might be 15 named storms this season, which begins June 1, nine hurricanes and four major storms between categories three and five.

While the area experienced a cold winter that cooled the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, temperatures are already moving upward and may move above normal in coming months. This is a favorable element for the development of hurricanes.

And as El Ninò moves out, La Nina moves in. La Nina years have more named storms in the Atlantic Basin and upper level winds tend to be more favorable for development, he said.

Storms moving into the Gulf of Mexico will likely shy away from the upper Texas coast and move westward toward Mexico or toward the eastern tip of Louisiana to Florida and up the east coast.

A number of global models are used in the prediction of hurricanes and include the American, European and United Kingdom models.

“Updated models no longer took Hurricane Ike to the lower Texas coast four days before landfall, it took Ike over Galveston,” he said.

One of the early models for Ike placed landfall near Corpus Christi.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 with August to mid-September being the most active period for the Gulf Coast area.

Impact Weather Inc., which is a private forecasting organization, serves as one of many weather sources for Entergy, Debi Derrick with Entergy said.

“Katrina changed our world and how we react to the threat of a hurricane,” Derrick said of the 2005 hurricane that devastated New Orleans.

Entergy officials recently went through a storm drill and will take part in a communications scenario in preparation for a hurricane or other disaster.

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