September 14th, 2010

Update: Hurricane Igor

Posted at 9:22 AM ET

igor-3-smalllIgor remains a powerful category 4 hurricane, with the center of the storm located approximately 750 miles (1,205 kilometers) east of the northern Leeward Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Igor currently packs sustained winds of 135 mph (215 kmph) and is moving in a west-northwest direction at around 8 mph (13 kmph). This general motion is expected to continue today followed by a turn towards the northwest tomorrow. On this track, Igor is expected to approach Bermuda by the weekend. The NHC said hurricane storm-force winds extend 50 miles (85 kilometers) from the center of the storm while tropical storm-force winds extend 195 miles (315 kilometers).

Forecasters expect Igor to take a northwesterly track over the next few days and curve away from the northern Leeward Islands. However, due to Igor’s proximity, powerful waves are expected to affect the Leeward Islands today and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands tonight and tomorrow, the NHC said. The NHC added that these swells are likely to cause life threatening surf and rip current conditions.

igor-3-big

Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or Instrat® representative for assistance or go to www.i-axs.info for further information.

Igor has weakened slightly since yesterday but remains a category 4 hurricane. Some fluctuation in intensity is likely over the NHC 5-day forecast range as the hurricane continues to move across the mid-Atlantic. The NHC said Igor is expected to remain a powerful hurricane for the next few days but forecasters are no longer predicting Igor will reach category 5 status. In fact, the NHC forecast suggests the storm could begin to weaken by the weekend as it moves towards Bermuda.

Igor poses no immediate threat to land and forecasters said the likelihood of landfall along the U.S. East Coast is viewed as slim. So far this year, the atmospheric conditions that steer hurricanes in the western Atlantic have pushed them away from the U.S. coastline. According to the NHC, computer models disagreed on how sharp a turn Igor will take, with a more west-northwest track taking the storm near Bermuda by the weekend while a more pronounced northerly turn will keep it over the open Atlantic. However, long-term forecasts are subject to change and Guy Carpenter will continue to closely monitor Igor’s progress.

Behind Igor, Julia has strengthened over the last 24 hours to become the fifth hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. However, long-term forecasts suggest the storm will remain over open waters and weaken back into a tropical storm by the weekend as increased wind sheer and lower sea surface temperatures sap Julia’s strength.

Sources: National Hurricane Center, WSI, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Reuters News

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Guy Carpenter’s Instrat® department provides CAT-i reports for major natural catastrophes worldwide. These reports cover catastrophes including worldwide tropical cyclones, earthquakes, major UK and European floods and any other natural event that is likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email CAT.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

Instrat also provides RISK-i reports for major technological or man-made events worldwide. These reports cover risks to property, transport and life including explosions, fires, crashes, engineering disasters and terrorist attacks that are likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email RISK.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or Instrat® representative for assistance or go to www.i-axs.info for further information.

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