Fewer ‘Canes in Forecast

Weather guru predicts less storms in 2009

Hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi thinks the US is in for a slightly easier time with hurricanes this year.

The accuweather.com hurricane guru looked into his crystal ball and saw fewer storms and major hurricanes for 2009, especially welcome news around here.

Bastardi is predicting at least two major hurricanes this year, a drop from the five last year, but still a concern.

"This year takes one major hurricane hitting a highly populated area to have devastating impact," Bastardi says.

Overall, he predicts a total of 13 storms, a drop from 16 in 2008. He predicts 2008's total of eight hurricanes to remain steady.

"Early indications show a reduction in the overall number of named storms and of major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin compared to last year, but the number of storms should still be near or a little above normal."

The good news for Florida is most of the intense storms will likely be pushed to the north due to cooler water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, meaning Caribbean and Gulf Coast areas hit hard last year by Gustav and Ike might be see less activity.

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