NHC Begins Tracking First Storm of the Season – Before Hurricane Season Officially Starts

May 26, 2010

The official beginning of the 2010 Atlantic season is still a week away, but according to Reuters the The U.S. National Hurricane Center has already begun tracking the first low pressure system of the year, reminding commodities and energy traders to be prepared for the hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends November 30.

On Sunday, the NHC started tracking the non-tropical low which was then about 475 miles southwest of Bermuda. By Monday morning the storm was producing disorganized rain showers and thunderstorms over a large portion of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean.

According to storm trackers, the system has a medium chance (30%) of becoming a subtropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, as it moves north-northwest toward the Gulf of Mexico, and away from Florida, at a slow pace.

The official 2010 hurricane season forecast will be released by NOAA (the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) on Thursday. This forecast is watched by the energy and commodity markets for signs of any potential disruptions to oil and gas installations in the Gulf of Mexico, due to weather during hurricane season.

Even though the official forecast has not yet been made public, many meteorologists are predicting that this year will bring an “unusually destructive” hurricane season, which could significantly impact efforts to clean up BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

State officials in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas are urging home- and business owners in coastal areas to confirm that adequate flood insurance and hurricane protections are in force before anything happens.

Some meteorologists have already predicted conditions are ripe for an unusually destructive hurricane season, which could also disrupt efforts to clean up BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Commodities traders also watch for storms that could damage agriculture crops such as citrus and cotton in Florida and other states along the coast to Texas.

In addition, the path of a storm can affect pricing of insurance-linked securities, which transfer insurance risks associated with natural disasters to capital markets investors.

Read more: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2010/05/25/110138.htm#ixzz0p61XSa3p