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||Betting On2006 Hurricanes
- Investors can bet on storm contracts
- Do you think the heretofore quiet 2006 hurricane
season will turn Katrina-esque and cause billions of dollars in damage as
weather experts predict?
- Regardless of what your gut instinct is, you now have the ability
to back up your hunch with a financial bet that could result in you either
making or losing money depending on the scope of storm-related
- On Thursday, HedgeStreet, a government-regulated online futures market,
is launching hurricane contracts. The simple contracts allow investors to
speculate on the economic fallout of hurricanes or tropical storms. They
are the latest example of a growing Wall Street trend that gives investors
a way to play short-term fluctuations in economic events or markets
- "We are interested in creating new risk-management
vehicles[Gambling--RSB]," says HedgeStreet co-founder Russell
Andersson. "There's a need for a hurricane-type product as evidenced by the
events of last year."
- one contract lets investors
bet on whether full-season damages will top $25
- Price Headley, chief analyst at BigTrends.com, says investors should
use hurricane contracts only if, after assessing the probabilities the
marketplace is placing on a certain damage estimate, they feel the market
is mispricing the risk: "It should not just be a crap shoot."
- HedgeStreet offers contracts on a wide array of financial assets
or instruments, ranging from commodities to currencies, housing prices interest
rates and mortgage rates.
||Unearthing Storm Clues In West Africa
- Scientists know that 4 out of 5 tropical storms hitting the United
States including the deadly and destructive hurricane Katrina a year
ago start out in the waters off Africa before bowling across the
- Using a DC-8 jet, they fly through thunderstorms trying to map the
precise contours with banks of sensors measuring wind speed and direction,
cloud shapes and contents, rainfall rates, temperature, humidity, and atmospheric
- One theory the NAMMA scientists want to test is that dust from the
Sahara desert can get inside a storm, dampening it down and inhibiting the
formation of cyclones
||Forecasters Reduce Hurricanes
- Colorado State University researchers lowered
their 2006 forecast for Atlantic hurricanes for the second time in a month
Friday, predicting a slightly below-average season with five hurricanes instead
- "We didn't have the major
formations we expected. There was a surprising amount of dry air.
It choked them off.
- Last spring, Gray's team called for 17 named storms to form
in the Atlantic basin during the June through November hurricane season.
They lowered that to 15, and then to 13 in their latest
- The average storm count for the Atlantic basin is 9.6 named
storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes per year.
- Klotzbach identified several factors for the revised forecast,
including higher levels of West African dust over the Atlantic, a warmer
eastern equatorial Pacific indicating a potential El Nino event this fall,
and drier tropical Atlantic mid-level moisture
||USA untouched by hurricanes so far, but season has more than two months left
- This was supposed to be another brutal hurricane
- Two main factors have contributed to the coastline calm: A high-pressure
area in the Atlantic known as the Bermuda High last year was centered close
to Bermuda, but now is positioned hundreds of miles to the east. That, in
turn, has made room for a low-pressure area to develop in the Atlantic between
the Carolinas and Bermuda.
- Unlike high-pressure's clockwise swirling, low pressure circulates
counterclockwise and is associated with winds that help push storms to the
north and northeast
- Last year was the busiest Atlantic season on record, with 28 named
storms, 17 of which had already formed by this point. Two hurricanes
Dennis and Katrina had already struck by this time last year, and
Rita hit on Sept. 24.
||South Spent Millions on a Hurricane Season That Wasn't - washingtonpost.com
- Anticipation of the 2006 hurricane season turned countless
families here and in a vast swath of the Southeast into survivalists.
||Hurricane experts say calm 2006 was "only a respite"
- Forecasters were wrong in 2006, unanimously predicting an above-average
season for hurricanes based on warmer-than-usual Atlantic waters that often