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.
Posts Tagged ‘Windstorm’
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.
Richard Banyard, Senior Vice President, Lance Finley, Managing Director, Jane Furnas, Senior Vice President and Scott VanKoughnett, Senior Vice President
Insurance policies are carefully drafted to outline coverage that is needed by policyholders while also specifying those areas where coverage is not expected to apply - the goal is to provide contract certainty, not in the usual sense of timeliness of contract signing, but from the perspective of specific policy language. Sometimes, however, contract certainty is not so certain. Recent examples have shown that insurers are increasingly facing reinterpretations of their policies by the judicial system, regulators, politicians and even the public via social media, all exerting pressure on insurers to provide coverage not previously anticipated by the drafters and underwriters of those policies. As these claims are presented to the reinsurance market, pressure is also put on reinsurers to provide coverage that they may not have originally contemplated. Insurers need to know that their reinsurers partner with them in such situations, and that reinsurance contracts provide appropriate flexibility to help ensure the reinsurers’ promise to pay. The comments made in this article are intended solely to foster discussion on this topic.
Guillermo Franco, Head of Catastrophe Risk Research - EMEA
It seems reasonable to expect a degree of uncertainty in catastrophe model results. It is not uncommon, however, for models to produce results that differ by several factors. In order to assess how much of this uncertainty is epistemic, due to our incomplete knowledge of the physical phenomena involved, this existing uncertainty needs to be quantified.
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.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publications represent scientific consensus among many of the world’s top scientists (and scientific consensus is difficult to achieve). Their findings are generally consistent with the broader scientific literature.
Economic losses resulting from natural disasters increased from USD75.5 Billion in the 1960s to USD659.9 Billion in the 1990s (IPCC AR4, 2007 - Working Group II, Section 184.108.40.206). Insured losses have also increased, and “the dominant signal is of significant increase in the values of exposure” (IPCC AR4, 2007 - Working Group II, Section 220.127.116.11). Furthermore, the IPCC states that “failure to adjust for time-variant economic factors yields loss amounts that are not directly comparable and a pronounced upward trend for purely economic reasons.” As an example,the recent “trend” in hurricane losses for the coastal United States becomes indistinguishable when normalized by inflation and population density (Pielke et al., 2008).
Extratropical cyclones pose a hazard primarily due to wind and flooding. They can also bring storm surge impacts in coastal regions. Portions of Europe are particularly prone to extratropical cyclone occurrence and these higher counts will naturally include some stronger events by nature of their underlying intensity distributions.
One of the more controversial discussions of the climate change question has been the subject of tropical cyclones, historical trends and expected shifts under global warming. The questions cannot be easily answered with either observations or climate models, and the subject has been one of heated debate in both scientific and political arenas.