On the heels of a robust 2010 hurricane season, the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season looks to be less active, but still above normal. WTI projects that there will be 14 storms with 3 reaching hurricane status and 6 attaining major hurricane strength (category 3 or higher). The 2011 season, which officially started June 1st, will see the first storm by late June and the activity will last through early November.
The season will be characterized by a series of long-lived Cape Verde storms, or storms that form in the central Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands (west of Africa). These storms will have a tendency to re-curve before reaching the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, but will often threaten the Carolina coastline. For the past 2 hurricane seasons the U.S. has been lucky as no hurricanes made landfall, this year we may not be so lucky. WTI expects 2 landfalling storms with North Carolina at a heightened risk for impacts from a storm. Climatologically speaking, if no hurricanes were to make landfall this year, it would be the first time in over 100 years that the U.S. went 3 years without a direct strike from a hurricane. Furthermore, if no major hurricanes (category 3 or higher) make landfall this year, then that would be the first time in recorded history that the U.S. went 6 years without a landfalling major hurricane.
Retailers along the East Coast, particularly in the Carolinas, should be on guard this season as any landfalling hurricane will bring disruptions to store traffic and increase demand for emergency supplies like batteries, flashlights, bottled water, tarps, plastic sheeting, plywood, and non-perishable foods. While the threat is not as high in the Gulf of Mexico and Peninsula of Florida, retailers there should also keep an eye on the weather as a stray storm or 2 will not be out of the question.
About Weather Trends International
Weather Trends International (WTI) is the global leader of actionable year-ahead business weather guidance for retailers, manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, agricultural firms, financial analysts and consumers worldwide. The company’s business-to-business clients include some of the world’s most respected and successful companies such as Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Target, AutoZone, Anheuser-Busch, Johnson & Johnson, Clorox, Energizer, 3M, JP Morgan and Hershey’s. Its business-centric weather solutions and understanding of how consumers respond to the weather is used throughout organizations to help "manage the weather risk.” Utilizing technology first developed in the early 1990s, WTI’s unique, statistical, math-based forecasting methodology projects temperature, precipitation and snowfall trends up to a year ahead for 6.4 million locations in all 195 countries with industry-leading 80%+ accuracy (as verified in an independent audit by Forecast Watch). The company has received 12 business and technology awards and in 2009 was listed #5 on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Promising Companies. WTI is headquartered in Bethlehem, PA with offices in Bentonville, AR. For more information, visit www.wxtrends.com or www.wt360.com.