A study issued by the Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre (GCACIC), a joint initiative of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC, the leading global risk and reinsurance specialist, and the City University of Hong Kong, concludes that 2009 tropical cyclone activity in the West North Pacific (WNP) region is likely to be close to normal in 2009.
Based on detailed statistical analysis of atmospheric and oceanic conditions up to March 2009, the briefing also predicts that the number of tropical cyclones making landfall in South China will be slightly below normal. The study, which is available for download, is the first in a series of GCACIC articles that will be published on the website.
El Niño/Southern Oscillation
- The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), an important determining factor in tropical cyclone activity, has been predicted as either neutral or weak by five of the six primary forecasting authorities.
- A weak El Niño (warm surface water) event remains possible, but overall 2009 is likely to be an ENSO-neutral year.
Summary of Predictions
- Taking the major ENSO and non-ENSO indices into account, the briefing forecasts near-normal overall activity, with 31 tropical cyclones (and 18 at typhoon strength).
- For South China, the briefing forecasts a total of four landfalling events for the year, with most of the events occurring between May and August.
According to Prof. Johnny Chan, Director, GCACIC, “We have noted a recent weakening of the easterly winds and anomalous westerly winds in the central equatorial Pacific. If this trend continues, the atmospheric condition could become more favorable for tropical cyclone formation.”
David Lightfoot, Managing Director, Guy Carpenter says, “Based on new research supporting a high degree of correlation between South China landfalling tropical cyclones and certain climate factors, we are excited to have added this capability and analysis to GCACIC’s TC predictions for 2009.”