2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- May 21, 2009 -- Environment Canada’s Canadian Hurricane Centre is making sure that Canadians are prepared for another active hurricane season.

“A number of international forecast centres have declared that this hurricane season will follow the general trend of the last decade. With that in mind, we want to remind Canadians that it‘s time to start preparing for hurricane season.” says Peter Bowyer, Program Manager for the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

TheUnited States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ColoradoState University's Tropical Cyclone Lab, and the Tropical Storm Risk Initiative in the United Kingdom, all predict that the level of hurricane activity in the Atlantic will be at or above normal for the 2009 hurricane season. The NOAA numbers, released at 12:00 noon ADT today, call for 9-14 named storms, 4-7 hurricanes, and 1-3 major hurricanes.  

Environment Canada encourages Canadians to be ready for hurricane season, by preparing themselves and their property, and by watching and listening for Environment Canada’s hurricane bulletins on the internet at weather.gc.ca, on Weatheradio, or through local media.

Last year, all of eastern Canada felt the impacts of the hurricane season as five post-tropical storms entered Canada or its waters. Cristobal tracked through the marine district south of Atlantic Canada; Hanna passed through the southern Maritimes; Ike swept through southern Ontario, Quebec and Labrador; Kyle moved through all three Maritime Provinces; and Laura clipped the outer Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

Hurricane season officially runs from June through November when the waters of the Atlantic are warm enough to produce a tropical cyclone, the general category of weather system which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. Hurricanes typically start to become more of a concern in Canadian waters a bit later in the season; however, the Centre maintains a year-round vigil, monitoring the Atlantic Ocean for any tropical cyclone that may form and threaten Canada or its waters.

Environment Canada is responsible for issuing severe weather watches and warnings in Canada for conditions like torrential rain, strong winds, storm surges and high waves that tropical systems like hurricanes can bring.