AccuWeather.com Chief Long-Range and Hurricane Forecaster Joe Bastardi has released an early hurricane season forecast for 2009, which calls for fewer landfalls in the United States as well as a lower overall number of named storms. However, storms may be more likely to form in the Atlantic Basin closer to the coast and the possibility of a major hurricane making landfall in the U.S. cannot be ruled out.



"This year's forecast shows only half as many impacts on the United States as there were last year," Bastardi said. "But keep in mind, it only takes one major hurricane hitting a highly populated area to have devastating impact."



"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."



Bastardi points to several factors influencing the forecast, including:

  • The weak La Ni