TSR lead scientist Professor Mark Saunders says the general trend is toward stronger hurricanes

Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) has restated its previous forecast that the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season would be active with activity about 35% above the 1950-2006 long term norm.

The announcement comes at the mid-point of the hurricane season (10 September) which marks the climatological peak in activity.

Professor Mark Saunders, TSR lead scientist and head of weather and climate extremes at the Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre, speaking at this year’s Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous, said, “There is a general trend towards stronger hurricanes. The intensity of storms is gradually increasing.”

TSR’s updates outlook also includes a 72% probability of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season and the expectation of 15 tropical storms for the Atlantic basin as a whole, with 3 or 4 of these being intense hurricanes.

It also expects 4 tropical storm strikes on the US, two of which will be hurricanes.

“I’ll be very surprised if the US gets away with no direct hits,” added Professor Saunders.

He also pointed out that despite two cat 5 hurricanes (Dean and Felix) making landfall – the first time this has occurred in an Atlantic season on record – activity to date is still only about 20% above the long-term norm.

“TSR anticipates a continuation and slight increase in above-norm activity during September and October,” he continued.

“The main climate factors which determine how active an Atlantic hurricane season is are all favourable with the exception of the temperature of the sea waters between west Africa and the Caribbean which are slightly colder than normal.”