Atlantic Named Windstorm Activity vs Forecast

02 January 2019

The 2018 Atlantic Named Windstorm turned out to be slightly above average forecasts but for the 10th year in a row did not cause any significant loss to the Energy sector, demonstrating that the predicted number of storms is not reflective of the damage they will cause to Energy Insureds.

The chart below shows the actual activity plotted against the predictions (latest prior to start of Windstorm season) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Colorado State University (CSU), Tropical Storm Risk (TSU) and MatthewsDaniel (MD) and against the 68 year average.

Tropical Storm Update

2018 Season Key Facts

  • The Atlantic had three simultaneous hurricanes (only the 11th year on record this has occurred)
  • Hurricane Michael was the first category 4 hurricane on record to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle
  • Hurricane Michael’s landfalling sustained windspeed of 156 miles per hour was the 4th highest continental US land wind speed on record, behind the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 (184 mph), Camille (173 mph) and Andrew (167mph).

Early 2019 Forecasts

Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) said its long-range outlook for 2019 hurricane season is expected to be slightly below average, predicting there will be 12 tropical storms, 5 hurricanes and 2 intense hurricanes at the mid-point of its forecast range, with variability around each figure. TSR expects trade wind speeds to be slightly stronger than normal between July and September, due to continued weak El Niño conditions, which could lower Atlantic hurricane activity in 2019; however, they reiterated that its forecasts cannot be precise at this Colorado State University (CSU) scientists also put the most likely scenario for 2019 as one with below average Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) conditions and hence storm activity.

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