A new perspective of hurricane landfall

Satellite image of Hurricane Irene (NASA)

22 March 2012 - The Met Office has launched a new independent report which provides a transparent and authoritative view of hurricane landfall rates in the United States.

Made specifically for the insurance markets, the report is designed to support industry professionals who manage hurricane risks.

In addition to enabling confident and informed decision-making on pricing and capital management, it will provide much needed documentation in the run-up to the implementation of new regulations such as Solvency II.

Dr Matt Huddleston, Principal Consultant at the Met Office, said: "This product is based on the Met Office's world leading expertise in weather and climate. It takes an open and transparent approach to analysis of historical hurricane landfall rates.

"Underwriters and catastrophe risk managers will be able to understand the data and statistical methods being used, and apply them in their own risk management approach. We discuss the limitations in the methods, error measures and interpretations, drawing on key peer-reviewed scientific papers, to give as comprehensive a picture as possible."

The report provides an analysis of the HURDAT historical hurricane dataset, split by landfall region and intensity, and compares three methods for detecting hurricane landfall.

Years with warmer Atlantic sea-surface temperatures are also independently analysed to indicate the effect this has on landfall statistics.

The report adds to the range of products the Met Office provides for the insurance markets, which include monthly global climate risk briefs, monthly North Atlantic hurricane season forecasts and analysis, and five-year predictions of North Atlantic tropical storm activity.

Dr Huddleston added: "The need for a fuller understanding of past and future extreme weather impacts is critical for the stability of the finance and insurance markets."

For more information on the new hurricane landfall report or other services for insurance markets contact Matt Huddleston

Contact information

Met Office Press Office: +44 (0)1392 886655

E-mail: Press Office

Met Office Customer Centre: 01392 885680

If you're outside the UK: +44 1392 885680

Last updated: 22 March 2012