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Hurricane season is rapidly approaching, and as always, predictions from experts give us an indication as to what to expect. Will it be an active year with a large number of hurricanes, possibly dangerous ones, expected, or will it be a reasonably mild and calm year? In general, when El Nino is stronger, the Atlantic hurricane season is quieter. When La Nina is the prevailing pattern, the season is busier. The El Nino directs storms away from land. When the temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean are warmer hurricanes tend to be stronger and able to counteract the effects of El Nino. This year, the Atlantic Ocean is already abnormally warm, much warmer than normal. All conditions this year such as weather patterns, water temperature, and computer modeling are pointing to an unusually strong hurricane season.

In April, the Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science had already issued its first predictions for this year as has Tropical Storm Risk (TSR). On May 23 NOAA issued its prediction, and it is the agency’s most aggressive prediction it has ever made, predicting 4 to 7 major hurricanes. As global temperatures rise, hurricanes intensify faster as they approach the coast than they did decades ago.

  NOAA as of 5/24 UK Met Office as of 5/24 Co. State Univ. as of 4/24 Univ. of Az. as of 4/24 Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) as of 4/24 The Weather Company/ Atmospheric G2 as of 4/24 Average
Named Storms 17-25 16-28 23 21 22 24 14.4
Hurricanes 8-13 8-16 11 11 11 11 7.2
Major Hurricanes (Cat 3 and above) 4-7 2-6 5 5 5 6 3.2

All predictions are pointing towards an above average, dangerous year for any insured within range. As a reminder, flood insurance through FEMA requires a 30-day waiting period. Those in vulnerable areas should look for coverage now.

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Christine G. Barlow, CPCU

Christine G. Barlow, CPCU, is Executive Editor of FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation, a division of National Underwriter Company and ALM. Christine has over thirty years’ experience in the insurance industry, beginning as a claims adjuster then working as an underwriter and underwriting supervisor handling personal lines. Christine regularly presents and moderates webinars on a variety of topics and is an experienced presenter.  

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