Tag Archives: NHC

Hurricane Season Half-Time Report: The Calm Before the Storm?

Now that we’ve reached the halfway stage of the 2019 North Atlantic hurricane season, now feels like a good opportunity to review the season to date and look ahead to what the remainder of the season might have in store.

A Quiet Start to the Season

If you thought the Atlantic had been a little quiet through the early summer, you’d be correct. The basin has had its quietest start since 2014. The strongest of these storms to date, Barry, made landfall near Intercoastal City, Louisiana, on July 13 as a weak Category 1 hurricane. RMS estimated that the insured U.S. losses from Hurricane Barry would not exceed US$500 million, inclusive of wind, storm surge, and inland flood damage, including losses to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Following Barry, the basin went 35 days without a named storm until Chantal formed over the open water in the far North Atlantic on August 19. It marked the first time since 1982 that the Atlantic had not generated a named storm in the period between July 15 and August 19.

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RMS HWind Forecasting: Untangling the Spaghetti

Every twist and turn of a real-time hurricane can affect global financial markets, public safety, or government and international aid agencies that provide assistance. Within the (re)insurance space, the ability to understand forecast track, timing, and potential hazard and loss impacts before landfall helps entities to prepare and execute their event response processes effectively. This includes having adequate capital to cover claims, setting up claim centers and planning policyholder outreach, securing and positioning adjusters in areas that are likely to be impacted, and determining what, if any, risk can be ceded to reinsurance or capital markets.

For our clients, the traditional approach to quantify potential impacts ahead of a landfalling storm involves selecting similar storms from the RMS® North Atlantic Hurricane (NAHU) stochastic event set. While this generates vital insights that can be extracted quickly from internal databases, there are opportunities to provide earlier and more comprehensive insights into the storm ahead of landfall. 

To date, RMS clients have also benefited from real-time analysis of hurricane events through RMS HWind Real-Time Analysis products. These observation data-based snapshots and footprints have provided the industry with a standard “ground truth” representation of tropical cyclone wind field size and intensity before, during, and following landfall effectively helping to describe what the storm is doing and what the storm has done.

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