September 17th, 2010

Update: Hurricane Igor

Posted at 10:05 AM ET

igor6-smallIgor has weakened into a category 3 hurricane, with the center of the storm located approximately 730 miles (1,130 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Igor currently packs sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kmph) and is slowly moving in a northwest direction at around 9 mph (15 kmph). This general motion with some increase in forward speed is expected to continue over the next 36 hours before the storm takes a turn to the north-northwest. On this track, Igor is expected to move over Bermuda in around 72 hours’ time. The NHC said Igor is a large storm, with hurricane-force winds extending 105 miles (165 kilometers) from its center while tropical storm-force winds extend 290 miles (465 kilometers).

A hurricane watch has been issued for Bermuda. Igor continues to slowly move away from the northern Leeward Islands. However, due to Igor’s proximity, powerful waves are continuing to affect the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hispaniola and parts of the Bahamas. Large swells are also expected to affect the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda over the weekend, the NHC said. The NHC added that these swells are likely to cause life threatening surf and rip current conditions.

igor6-big1

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 to a category 3 hurricane over the last 12 hours and some fluctuation in intensity is likely over the next few days as the hurricane continues to move across the mid-Atlantic. Igor is expected to sustain its category 3 status over the next few days due to favorable conditions (warm sea surface temperatures and low wind sheer), but the storm could weaken as it nears Bermuda. Although there is significant uncertainty associated with the forecast track and intensity, Igor is a big hurricane with a large wind field and the storm’s outer bands are likely to start affecting Bermuda on September 18. According to the latest NHC forecast, Igor is expected to pass over or slightly to the east of Bermuda on September 20 as a category 2/3 hurricane with sustained winds of around 110 mph (175 kmph). Igor is expected to still be a large hurricane by the time it reaches Bermuda and its strongest winds will be located to the north and east of its center.

According to the NHC, there is currently a 24 percent chance of Bermuda experiencing hurricane force-winds within the next 72 hours. The last hurricane to significantly impact Bermuda occurred in 2003 when Hurricane Fabian passed around 15 miles (25 kilometers) to the west of the island. Winds of up to 120 mph (195 kmph) caused significant damage in Bermuda, although strict building codes limited insured losses to around USD300 million.

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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