Reinsurance broker Aon Benfield’s catastrophe modelling unit Impact Forecasting said that early estimates suggest aggregated economic losses from February’s winter storms in the U.S. will be in the low-digit billions of dollars, while insured losses are likely to exceed $1 billion.
Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting senior scientist and meteorologist, commented; “Prolific winter weather highlighted a very active February for the eastern half of the United States. Boston was the epicenter for record snowfall that resulted from an onslaught of strong winter storm systems. Arctic cold, including multiple returns of the Polar Vortex, also contributed to residential and commercial losses that impacted dozens of states.”
“As we begin to transition to the start of the severe weather season, it will be interesting to see if a cooler pattern lingers into the spring months. Should such a scenario occur, it is entirely possible that U.S. tornado totals could remain at historically low levels for a fourth consecutive year.”
Impact Forecasting said that five separate periods of heavy snow, frigid cold, freezing rain and ice impacted the U.S. Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Plains and Southeast during the month, killing 72 people. Boston registered its snowiest and second-coldest February on record, and was poised to challenge the winter season of 1995/96 as the snowiest in its recorded history.