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Hurricanes (or the lack thereof)

We have averted disasters: the Atlantic hurricane season officially and quietly ended last month.  Prior to the start of the hurricane season, meteorologists predicted that strong El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean would hamper the development of hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean.  As it turns out, they were right.

On average, 12 tropical storms – six of which become hurricanes – form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1st to November 30th each year, according to the National Weather Service.  Over a typical two year period, the U.S. coastline is struck by an average of three hurricanes, one of which is classified as a major hurricane with winds of 111 mph or greater.

Eleven named tropical storms formed in the Atlantic Ocean this year: one less than the average.  Four of the storms became hurricanes (Danny, Fred, Joaquin and Kate), with two strengthening into major hurricanes at their peaks: Danny (Category 3) and Joaquin (Category 4).  Luckily, none of the hurricanes made landfall at full force in the United States, which could have had devastating effects.

The last hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Wilma in 2005.  Thus, 2015 marks the 10th consecutive year without a major hurricane hitting somewhere in the U.S., the longest stretch of time since hurricane tracking began in 1851.  While we can consider ourselves very fortunate in that respect, we should note that many regions of our country have suffered substantially from weather related events during the past year.  Once again, we are reminded that in order for insurance to play a major role in helping people put their lives back together after a major catastrophe, families and businesses need a properly structured insurance program.

– Information obtained from The Standard New England’s Insurance Weekly magazine

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