June 29th, 2011

Tropical Storm Arlene

Posted at 11:23 AM ET

arlene1-smallTropical Storm Arlene became the first named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season when it developed in the southwest Gulf of Mexico earlier today. Arlene is currently located around 190 miles (300 kilometers) east of Tampico in Mexico and packs sustained winds of around 40 mph (65 kmph), according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The storm is traveling in a west-northwest direction and is likely to take a turn toward the west later today. The storm is expected to strengthen as it nears the northeastern Mexican coastline but remain at tropical storm strength. The NHC said tropical storm-force winds extend 115 miles (185 kilometers) from the center of the storm.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for the coast of northeastern Mexico (from Barra de Nautla north to Bahia Algodones). The NHC said Arlene could produce 4 to 8 inches (100 to 200 millimeters) of rain over the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and eastern San Luis Potosi, with the possibility of 15 inches over mountainous terrain. The NHC warned the heavy rainfall could cause life threatening flash floods and mudslides. Storm surge warnings have also been issued by the NHC, with waves up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) above normal tide levels expected as Arlene crosses the Mexican coast.


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 GC Analytics(SM) representative for assistance or go to www.i-axs.info for further information.

On its current path, Arlene is expected to make landfall along Mexico’s northeastern coastline as a tropical storm on  June 30 before weakening as it moves inland. The latest NHC forecast suggests Arlene will pack sustained winds of around 60 mph (100 kmph) as it nears the coastline. Reports say the storm is expected to stay clear of Mexico’s main offshore crude oil producing region in the Bay of Campeche. Although the NHC does not currently expect Arlene to strengthen into a hurricane, it warned that tropical storm conditions are expected to reach communities within the warning area by this evening.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to  November 30. Several forecasters, including AccuWeather, the Colorado State University (CSU), NOAA and Weather Services International (WSI), expect the 2011 hurricane season to see above-average activity. The most recent forecasts are outlined in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Summary of Hurricane Forecasts for 2011


Total Named Storms (>39 mph)

Hurricanes (>74 mph)

Major Hurricanes (>111 mph)

Average storm development (based on data from 1950 – 2009)




AccuWeather (released 4 June)




CSU (released 1 June)




NOAA released (19 May)




WSI (released 22 June)




Guy Carpenter will closely monitor Arlene’s progress and update this report on June 30.

Sources: National Hurricane Center, WSI, Associated Press, Reuters News, Agence France Presse, Dow Jones News, AccuWeather, CSU, NOAA

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Guy Carpenter publishes 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.

Guy Carpenter compiles 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.

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