Our latest update on hurricane Sandy can be found here. Those who have followed our earlier articles on hurricane Sandy will know that the National Hurricane Center forecast maps have shown the storm staying offshore of the U.S. east coast as it heads north. Meanwhile, some of the forecast models have shown an east coast landfall happening but there has been significant disagreement between forecasters over Sandy’s eventual path as either a hurricane or once weakened back to a tropical, or extra-tropical storm.
Now, the forecasts have converged somewhat, and the NHC themselves now forecast a landfall by hurricane Sandy on the U.S. east coast by around Tuesday next week. Currently the latest forecast path for Sandy would show a landfall somewhere around the New York area of the east coast as either a weak hurricane or a strong tropical storm.
If that scenario turns out to be true, while wind speeds may not be particularly strong, hurricane Sandy would still be a threat due to storm surge, rainfall and also the size of the storm.
There remains considerable uncertainty in the forecast. Each update changes the forecast track of Sandy and we expect that to change again as Sandy traverses the Bahamas, the hurricanes next obstacle.
Right now, Sandy remains a category two hurricane with sustained winds up to 105mph. Sandy is growing in size gradually and now tropical storm force winds extend up to 22okm from the center of the storm. Some weakening is expected as Sandy crosses the Bahamas but how much is difficult for the forecasters to say.
It looks to us like Saturday will be the telling day when we’ll find out more precisely where Sandy is headed. The forecast path shows a turn to the east but then back to the north and eventually westward towards the coast. This could easily change if the jet stream shifts slightly and it still wouldn’t surprise us if Sandy tried to make landfall further south or conversely head out to sea. Very difficult to predict!
So this certainly makes Sandy a hurricane to watch for the catastrophe bond and reinsurance markets, although current forecasts would suggest that a landfall would not be severe enough to impact any cat bonds. We hear that trading in hurricane exposed positions have been light with little fluctuation in prices so far today. That could change once investors and traders see this latest forecast path.
We’ll keep you updated over the next few days. You can see hurricane Sandy’s current location and forecast path below and you can always keep up to date with our interactive tracking map here.