September 21st, 2011

Tropical Storm Ophelia

Posted at 11:11 AM ET

ophelia-smallOphelia became the fifteenth named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season earlier today after it developed in the eastern Atlantic. The storm is currently located approximately 1,370 miles (2,205 kilometers) east of the Leeward Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The storm packs sustained winds of around 45 mph (75 kmph), equivalent to a tropical storm. Ophelia is traveling in a westerly direction and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours with some increase in forward speed. Ophelia is expected to take a more northwesterly track towards the end of the week. On this forecast track, Ophelia is expected to move through the Atlantic this week and approach the Leeward Islands over the weekend. The NHC said tropical storm force winds extend 175 miles (280 kilometers) from the center of the storm.

Forecasters expect the storm to maintain its general westerly course for much of this week before taking a more northwesterly track. This path will see Ophelia continue to move across the mid-Atlantic and approach the Leeward Islands on September 24. The storm is expected to hit or skirt the northern Leeward Islands early next week. The official NHC prediction has Ophelia strengthening over the next 48 hours before weakening towards the end of the 5 day forecast range. Ophelia is expected to remain a tropical storm over the next five days, according to the NHC.

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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.

The storm poses no immediate threat to land and it remains unclear at this stage whether it will impact the United States, Bermuda or the Caribbean. Several long term forecast models show Ophelia taking a similar track to other recent storms in the Atlantic (including hurricanes Katia and Maria) and eventually curving away from the Caribbean and United States coastline. However, there is considerable uncertainty surrounding Ophelia’s projected track and intensity at this time and forecasters say it is too early to determine whether the storm will threaten land.

Guy Carpenter will continue to monitor Ophelia’s progress over the next couple of days.

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

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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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