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Despite activity Pacific tropical cyclone season forecast below average


Despite reports of a relatively active start to the Pacific Tropical Cyclone season, Guy Carpenter’s Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre (GCACIC) has predicted slightly below-average cyclone formations and landfalls for the current season.

The GCACIC, which is a joint venture of the City University of Hong Kong and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC, has released its predictions for the Pacific tropical cyclone formations and landfalls for the 2015 season.

According to the report, which uses data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the GCACIC, the 2015 season will witness 19.9 tropical cyclone formations and that 10.3 of these will make landfall. This compares to a ten-year (2000-2010) average of 23 tropical cyclone formations and 17.4 landfalls.

The study notes that the region is currently experiencing strong El Niño conditions that are expected to continue throughout 2015, with some reports suggesting the conditions could continue into next year also.

“Consistent with El Niño years, the prediction shows fewer than average tropical cyclone landfalls in the Western North Pacific Basin, especially in the southern part of the region,” says the report.

The presence of an El Nino event during the Pacific tropical cyclone season sparks much discussion, as differing views about the potential increase or decrease in storm activity circulate widely.

And while the GCACIC study highlights that fewer than average storms are predicted across the Pacific and the Northern hemisphere as a whole, other forecast and weather prediction organisations have emphasised the already, extremely active Pacific tropical cyclone season.

This includes the Weather Channel, which explains that the ACE (accumulated cyclone energy) index, which is calculated by adding each tropical storm, hurricane or typhoon’s wind speed through its life cycle, has generated 152 units so far, the only time the ACE index has recorded this much activity, this early since 1976, according to the Weather Channel.

A recent report by Bloomberg also signalled just how active the start of the Pacific storm season has been, which notes that from the 6th -13th July eight tropical storm systems formed in the region, with three of these occurring in the central Pacific, something experts believe has never happened before.

Forecast model provider WeatherBell highlights the ACE for each tropical basin on its website here. Year to date you can see that the ACE totals are far in excess of the norm, but of course that doesn’t necessarily mean they will continue to trend 100’s of percent above more typical levels.

Should the active start to the Pacific tropical cyclone season continue it could become a concern to insurers, reinsurers and even insurance-linked securities (ILS) and catastrophe bond investors, so participants in the space would be wise to keep a close eye on any potential storm activity, as ever.

James Nash, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Asia-Pacific region, Guy Carpenter said; “Climate change will continue to impact the fast developing Asia-Pacific region in significant ways. We will push forward under the Centre’s mission, as we have since 2009, to understand changing weather patterns and their impact to our communities and businesses.”

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