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Heavy losses the highlight as 2008 Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end


The 2008 Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane season officially ended yesterday, the season runs from the 1st June to the 30th November.

Damage caused by this years storm season is estimated at $54b according to the National Climatic Data Centre (excellent season review from them here). That’s the second largest annual loss from atlantic storms on record (second only to 2005 when Katrina hit).

Here are some interesting facts from the NOAA’s 2008 season press release:

  • For the first time on record, six consecutive storms made landfall on the U.S. mainland (Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike)
  • Three major hurricanes struck Cuba (Gustav, Ike and Paloma)
  • This is also the first Atlantic season to have a major hurricane (Category 3) form in five consecutive months (July: Bertha, August: Gustav, September: Ike, October: Omar, November: Paloma)
  • Bertha was a tropical cyclone for 17 days (July 3-20), making it the longest-lived July storm on record in the Atlantic Basin
  • Fay is the only storm on record to make landfall four times in the state of Florida, and to prompt tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings for the state’s entire coastline
  • Paloma, reaching Category 4 status with top winds of 145 mph, is the second strongest November hurricane on record

No reports of catastrophe bonds being triggered have surfaced although it seems hurricane Ike came very close indeed. The season saw increased activity on the IFEX and CME windstorm futures and options as well.

For details of the seasons storms visit our 2008 tropical storm season page. We’ll continue to cover major disasters around the world and we will have a new page in place for the 2009 Atlantic Tropical Storm season as soon as data such as forecasts becomes available.

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