We have been Warned: Are Fewer Storms the Norm?

Hurricane Season Begins June 1

According the April Forecast Update for Atlantic Hurricane Activity in 2015 that was issued early in April 2015, this may again be a year with significantly less Atlantic hurricanes that is normal. In summary it predicts Atlantic hurricane activity in 2015 will be about 45% below the 1950-2014 long-term norm and about 50% below the recent 2005-2014 10-year norm. The forecast spans the period from June 1 to November 30, 2015 (the standard Atlantic hurricane season) and employs data through the end of March 2015. The report goes on that say that if the prediction holds true then it would imply that an active phase of Atlantic hurricane activity that began 20 years ago has ended.

The report was issued by Professor Mark Saunders and Dr. Adam Lea of the Department of Space and Climate Physics, University College London, UK, and is available on their website

Atlantic Hurricanes 1950-2014

Atlantic Hurricanes 1950-2014

. Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) is a leading resource for predicting and mapping tropical storm activity worldwide, and it was the best performing statistical seasonal forecast model at all lead times for 2005-2014. The public TSR website provides forecasts and information to benefit basic risk awareness and decision making from tropical storms.

At the same time as the TSR prediction, another report was issued that reinforced it—the Extended Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and Landfall Strikes Probability for 2015 by Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. In the report they state that “We anticipate that the 2015 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be one of the least active seasons since the middle of the 20th century…  We anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean.”

If these predictions are true then it is good news for all regions at risk from Atlantic hurricanes, including the Americas and the Caribbean. 2015 would continue a beneficial pattern begun in 2013 as shown in the accompanying table from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center. Hurricanes can be incredibly destructive storms when they make landfall; they can often live and cause damage for a long period of time—as much as two to three weeks. In their very earliest stages they may begin as a group of thunderstorms over the tropical ocean waters; these storms can then coalesce into a single, larger tropical disturbance—a depression. After a disturbance has evolved into a tropical depression and begins gaining more power and wind speed it can become a tropical storm. If the tropical storm continues to intensify it can become a hurricane, with the lowest level being a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 74-95 miles per hour; it can increase up to a Category 5 storms with winds of 157 miles per hour or higher.

Crawford helps manage the effects of hurricanes through its Catastrophe Services (CAT), the insurance industry’s leading independent adjusting resource for claims management in response to natural and man-made disasters, and also through its Global Technical Services business (GTS®), which focuses on large, complex losses. Learn more here.

Ever experienced a hurricane? Let us know below.

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