December 8, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter
Eminent hurricane forecaster Prof. William Gray of Colorado State University says the above average hurricane season experienced in 2003 could well be repeated in 2004.
“The recent upturn in Atlantic basin major hurricane activity which began in 1995 is expected to continue in 2004,” states Gray’s most recent prediction. “We anticipate an above average probability for Atlantic basin major hurricanes and U.S. major hurricane landfall [in 2004].”
The early forecast predicts 13 named storms and seven hurricanes next year. Three intense hurricanes could be seen, and a total of 30 “hurricane days” during the 2004 season are anticipated.
2003 produced 14 tropical storms and 7 hurricanes, of which three became major hurricanes Fabian, Isabel and Kate. Hurricanes Claudette, Isabel and Juan each caused catastrophic level insured losses. Hurricane Fabian also unleashed severe damage in Bermuda.
“The period 1995-2003 has been the most active for Atlantic hurricanes in the historical record,” notes the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “Since 1995 seven of the nine seasons have been above-normal (the exceptions being the El Nino years of 1997 and 2002.” The NOAA is also concerned that intense hurricane activity can be expected to continue in the coming years.