As with Europe, 2013 was a year of flood in the Americas, with notable events in Alberta, Toronto and Colorado. The flood event in the Calgary, Alberta area of Canada resulted in estimated insured losses of around USD2 billion, with economic losses of USD4.8 billion (1). This event, combined with flash-flooding in Toronto, Ontario in July, meant Canada experienced its most expensive insured catastrophe loss year on record.
Posts Tagged ‘tropical cyclone’
Asia and Australasia also received their share of both natural and man-made catastrophes in 2013. One of the most costly man-made events occurred in China after a major fire hit a large microchip factory in September. The blaze caused significant damage to the SK Hynix-owned facility in the city of Wuxi, with reports saying the cost to the (re)insurance sector is expected to range between USD900 million and USD1 billion. The incident represents the most expensive single-risk loss on record to occur in China.
Windstorm Xaver: A powerful storm named Xaver battered Northern Europe with hurricane-force wind gusts and massive storm surges on December 6, causing widespread property damage and severely disrupting transport networks.
U.S. Severe Weather Outbreak, November 2013: A late-season severe convective outbreak has affected a large portion of the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes including Southern Ontario. This widespread and violent outbreak has left absolute damage in communities such as Washington, Illinois. The outbreak occurred ahead of a strong cold front affecting the area. Numerous tornadoes have been reported, primarily in Indiana and Illinois, with some preliminary reports as high as an EF-4 rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
Update: Super Typhoon Haiyan: Our first thoughts and concerns are with those lost or recovering from the exceptionally severe impacts of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Haiyan is among the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, and meets or surpasses the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in recorded history.
Tropical Storm Karen: Tropical Storm Karen is poised to become the first named storm to hit the United States this season. Karen, as of 2PM Eastern Daylight Time, was 240 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 275 miles south-southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana.
Changing Precipitation Patterns - Drought and Wildfire
Global warming is also impacting drought and wildfire patterns around the world, with notable regional differences. The IPCC says that some regions of the world have experienced more intense and longer droughts (southern Europe and West Africa in particular) while other areas such as central North America and northwestern Australia have seen less frequent, less intense or shorter drought events.
Our first thoughts and concerns are with those lost or recovering from the exceptionally severe impacts of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Haiyan is among the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, and meets or surpasses the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in recorded history. Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines on November 8 near Guiuan, with estimated 1-minute wind speeds of 185-195 mph (300-315 km/hr). A second landfall occurred on November 10 as a minimal Typhoon near the Vietnam-China border.
Global climate models project a best estimate of a further two to four degree (Celsius) increase in the mean temperature of the Earth by the end of this century. Although this may seem insignificant on an intuitive level, the resulting impacts are of significant concern. Sea-level rise is the most significant threat for coastal areas as a result of melting glaciers. Apart from this threat, changing weather patterns will result in drought and inland flood threats for some areas. As a general principle of climate change, changes to the mean of meteorological extreme value distributions can be expected but an increase in tail thickness (or variability) is of greater concern. The day-to-day variability that we see today will likely expand.
Super Typhoon Haiyan meets or surpasses the record of the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in recorded history, and is among the strongest ever recorded. Haiyan made landfall during the early morning hours of November 8 near Guiuan, with estimated 1-minute wind speeds of 185-195 mph (300-315 km/hr). While it is still too early to fully assess impacts to the area, severe to complete wind damage is a near certainty adjacent to the storm track, with wave battering and water velocity damage most severe within 20 miles (32 km) of the storm track.
Tropical Storm Karen is poised to become the first named storm to hit the United States this season. Karen, as of 2PM Eastern Daylight Time, was 240 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 275 miles south-southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana. The storm is moving north-northwest at ten miles per hour. According to the NHC, a turn toward the north and a decrease in forward speed are expected by early Saturday, with a turn toward the northeast on Sunday.