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Original Risk: A Society for Change Agents

Above-average typhoon season forecast for western North Pacific: Guy Carpenter


Reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter has warned of above-normal potential for tropical cyclones, or typhoons, in certain parts of the western North Pacific basin this year, with an above-average number of storms anticipated.

Guy Carpenter warns that the number of tropical cyclones forecast to form in the western North Pacific between April 1st and September 30th is above normal in 2021.

This is consistent with neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions, which follow a weak to moderate La Niña year, the reinsurance broker explained.

Activity levels are forecast to differ by region though and of particular interest to reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) markets is the fact below-normal numbers of tropical cyclones are anticipated for Japan and Korea, the regions where the highest insurance industry losses tend to occur in the west Pacific from typhoon landfall events.

Conversely, activity is forecast to be above normal for East China, South China, Taiwan and Vietnam, and near normal for the Philippines.

In total, approximately 19.5 tropical cyclones are forecast to form in the western North Pacific basin this season, which is an increase of approximately 44% compared to the 1980-2020 six-month average of 13.5.

But fewer than 9.9 are forecast to make landfall during the season.

Historical and predicted averages of tropical cyclone landfalls from April to September.:


* This region shows a systematic low bias compared to the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) Tokyo historical data.

Note that tropical cyclones pass through multiple regions. As a result, in this table a single event can be counted several times as it makes landfall in different territories. When compiling the landfall figure of 9.9, each cyclone is counted as a single event.

Jeremy Waite, Asia Pacific Catastrophe Advisory Group Lead, Guy Carpenter, explained “The predictions suggest that the region will experience a very active tropical cyclone season. However, the number of storms forecast to make landfall is expected to be slightly below the long-term average, although the exact location of these landfalls remains uncertain. By generating these forecasts, we are providing our clients with critical information that will enable them to plan for potentially significant insured and economic losses.”

Karl Jones, Head of Global Strategic Advisory Team in Asia Pacific, Guy Carpenter, added, “Tropical cyclone risk is a key area of focus for our clients, and we have seen significant impact from such events across Asia in recent years. Guy Carpenter is committed to enhancing our tools and insight across the region, particularly in quantifying the impacts and uncertainty from climate change.”

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