Not all weather forecasters expect the 2014 Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane season will see below average activity, as most traditional forecasters have predicted. StatWeather, a big data driven weather forecaster, predicts above normal activity this year.
StatWeather provides probability-based weather prediction systems for the risk management industry, with clients in the energy sector, commodity and hedge funds, investment banks and industrial firms. StatWeather looks back at 120 years of weather data, analyses it for patterns using statistical techniques, computer models and using proprietary algorithms provides a probability-based weather forecast.
It’s a technique increasingly gaining popularity in the weather risk management and energy sector, where forecasts are not just based on the current conditions and weather models anymore. The probability-based weather forecast has some similarities with risk models used for natural catastrophe perils, calling on historical data to forecast the probability of future events.
So it’s interesting to note that StatWeather is so far the only weather forecast we have seen which calls for an above normal level of tropical activity in the 2014 Atlantic storm season. The forecast does not give actual storm numbers, but simply predicts above normal tropical storm and hurricane activity and highlights a number of regions particularly thought to be at risk.
StatWeather forecasts that the areas at the highest risk of impact from tropical storms and hurricanes in the 2014 season are South Florida, the Louisiana Gulf Coast and the North Carolina coast. Of these, the South Florida coast is forecast as the most likely regions to see tropical storm or hurricane activity.
It should be noted that StatWeather specialises in providing forecasts of weather that may impact energy infrastructure, such as electrical outages etc, so does not provide forecasts of potential strength of hurricanes, just the likelihood of a storm sufficiently impactful to be worth warning its clients about.
In 2013 StatWeather correctly called for a below average tropical storm and hurricane season, going against the many forecasts which called for much higher activity. As this field of statistical climatology increases in popularity, particularly as technology and computing power allows for greater quantities of data to be analysed, this type of forecast will increasingly provide reinsurance companies and investors in the catastrophe bond and insurance-linked securities market with a valuable input in advance of the storm season.
Of course a forecast of above normal activity does not necessarily mean losses for the reinsurance or cat bond sector. However, as we all know, it only takes one storm making landfall in the right area to cause a major loss, so the more activity that occurs the more chance of that happening. Hence all forecasts and predictions for the season are important to note.
It will be interesting to see how the 2014 Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane season plays out and which forecasts are the most accurate this year. You can track the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, compare forecasts and monitor the progress of storms as they develop here on Artemis. Visit and bookmark our 2014 Atlantic hurricane season page.
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