2019 hurricane forecast & landfall probabilities raised by Colorado State


The Colorado State University (CSU) tropical weather forecasting team has increased its prediction for the number of hurricanes that will form during the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season and also its landfall probabilities, but still cite the significant uncertainty associated with El Nino’s influence this year.

hurricane-michael-2018Releasing their latest hurricane forecast update for the 2019 Atlantic tropical storm season today, the Colorado State team led by Philip J. Klotzbach has opted for 13 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or greater, to form during the season ahead.

That’s an increase of 1 hurricane since the team’s April pre-season forecast outlook for 13 names storms, 5 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.

As well as increasing their forecast for the number of hurricanes that the Atlantic basin will see in 2019, the Colorado State forecasters have also increased their prediction for Accumulate Cyclone Energy (ACE) for the season, raising it from 80 to 99.

Adding this new data to all of the other hurricane forecasts we track over on our dedicated web page gives us an Artemis average forecast for the 2019 hurricane season of 13 named tropical storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes, with an average ACE forecast from those who provide it of 101.

Perhaps more ominous for insurance, reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) interests, the forecast team has also raised its probabilities for landfall metrics.

The Colorado State team now give an above average 54% chance of a hurricane making landfall somewhere on the U.S. coastline during the 2019 season, up from the 48% chance it gave back in April.

The forecast also suggests a 32% chance of a hurricane making landfall on the U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida, up from 28% in the April forecast, and a 31% chance of a hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, up from 28% in April as well.

The probability of a major category 3 or stronger hurricane tracking into the Caribbean is given as 44% for the 2019 season, up from the 29% probability it gave in April.

So the landfall probabilities have all moved from slightly below the long-term average figures, to slightly above.

While that could suggest greater risk for insurance, reinsurance and ILS market interests during the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, it is of course not assured and it’s the landfalls that really matter.

The forecasters note considerable uncertainty, associated with sea surface temperatures, El Nino, and other meteorological factors, that could affect the level of activity in the 2019 season as well as where any hurricanes that do form are steered.

The forecasts for Atlantic hurricane activity levels have been rising a little in recent weeks as the latest updates have been published and insurance, reinsurance and ILS market interests are now moving into their typical summer holding pattern, where one eye is firmly watching the tropics for any storm activity that could form.

With June 1st and the official start of the Atlantic storm season now passed, it’s vital to remember that it takes only one hurricane (or even strong tropical storm) making landfall in an urban and populated area, to cause significant impacts to lives, livelihoods as well as the reinsurance, ILS and catastrophe bond market.

Keep track of all the 2019 Atlantic hurricane forecasts and every tropical storm as it forms over on our dedicated Atlantic hurricane season page for 2019.


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