Gustav to Threaten Gulf of Mexico with Hurricane Severity Index of At Least 20

August 27, 2008 – Houston-based ImpactWeather announced today that it is forecasting Hurricane Gustav to achieve a Hurricane Severity Index (HSI) rating of 21 within the next 5 days. HSI is a rating that calculates a hurricane's size and intensity on a scale of 0-50.  For more information on the HSI, go to or

According to ImpactWeather's lead hurricane forecaster, Chris Hebert, “Many companies –  including major offshore oil and gas platforms – begin to take action with regard to their Hurricane or Business Continuity Plans when a hurricane is expected to exceed an HSI rating of 20. A hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico with an HSI rating of greater than 20 can most definitely have an impact on oil and gas production levels."

“We saw Hurricane Bertha briefly achieve an HSI of 19 earlier in the season, but that storm remained safely out in the Atlantic before dissipating," says Hebert.  "Any time you get an HSI of 20 or higher, you're looking at either higher, more devastating wind speeds, a larger overall area of damaging winds or both.  By Saturday, Gustav will be a slightly below average-size storm but will be generating winds in the 115- to 125-mph range, and that's significant enough to be of considerable concern to any offshore facilities in its path."

Hebert has 28 years of experience predicting hurricane activity and works in concert with dozens of other meteorologists.  Gustav is the 7th named storm of a season that ImpactWeather predicts will see 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 4 severe hurricanes.  August and September are the busiest months for tropical activity in the Atlantic Basin, including the Gulf of Mexico.


ImpactWeather, Inc. is a Houston-based private weather forecasting company specializing in marine weather forecasting.  With meteorologists working 24/7, the focus of ImpactWeather is risk management and business continuity.  Forecast types include storm management, offshore site forecasts, marine weather and severe weather alerts, route and tow forecasts, tropical weather support (including hurricane forecasts) and detailed winds/seas/swells forecasts provided by marine-dedicated meteorologists.  ImpactWeather also provides proprietary graphics and text, regional threat assessments and direct notification services (phone, email, PDA) to manufacturing, construction, petrochemical, government, military, transportation and educational entities worldwide as well as live AM/FM radio weather forecasts. serves global energy professionals with the broadest, most complete coverage of industry-related information, with resources to help effectively perform critical job functions.  Including content from all PennWell Petroleum brands and other industry sources, delivers original industry news, financial market data, in-depth research, maps, surveys, statistical data, and equipment/service information.  Since 1910, The PennWell Petroleum Group has been the industry leader for coverage of and service to the worldwide petroleum industry. Its foundation magazines are Oil & Gas Journal, Offshore Magazine, Oil, Gas & Petrochem Equipment, Oil & Gas Financial Journal, LNG Observer and The Petroleum Buyers' Guide. The group also produces targeted e-Newsletters, hosts global conferences and exhibitions, seminars and forums, directories and technical books, print and electronic databases, surveys and maps.

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