Hurricane Teddy is a large and significant storm but thankfully looks set to pass to the east of Bermuda, although the island could be in for tropical storm-force winds over the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, tropical storm Beta is heading for a Texas. Gulf Coast landfall, with the major threat currently looking like more significant rainfall and the potential for severe inland flooding.
Hurricane Teddy first, a large storm that was major Category 3 strength, but has weakened slightly now to sustained winds of 105 mph.
Hurricane Teddy’s forecast path puts the storm passing east of Bermuda, far enough away to save the islands from the worst effects, but still close enough for tropical storm conditions to be experienced over the next day.
Hurricane Teddy is particularly large, with hurricane-force winds extending outwards from the center of the storm up to 80 miles (130 km) and tropical-storm-force winds up to 205 miles (335 km).
As a result, Bermuda should expect tropical storm force conditions, but as long as hurricane Teddy remains on its current forecast path impacts should be minimal. Any shift to the west though could bring stronger winds closer to Bermuda, so it’s important for those on the island to remain alert while Teddy is in the vicinity. As ever, we wish our friends on the island and contacts in Bermuda’s insurance, reinsurance and ILS market well as Teddy passes by.
Next, tropical storm Beta.
On Friday the 2020 Atlantic tropical storm season ran out of names, with Wilfred the last available name and storm Alpha forming quickly after, followed by storm Beta.
2020 continues to look on track for record levels of named storm activity, living up to and likely beating most of the pre-season forecasts with now 23 named storms having formed, 8 of which have become hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.
Tropical storm Beta had been forecast to become hurricane Beta by today, but the storm has struggled to develop and now the latest forecasts suggest the chance of intensification has lessened.
Still, tropical storm Beta is set to take a slow approach to the mid-Texas coast, with landfall expected late Monday into Tuesday morning local time, so there is chance for Beta to intensify should conditions improve and a weak hurricane cannot be totally ruled out quite yet.
Currently, tropical storm Beta has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and higher gusts, with forecasters saying the storm will battle dry air and stands little chance of getting much stronger.
But tropical storm Beta’s rains are already impacting coastal areas and this is now set to continue for the next few days, resulting in another significant Gulf Coast rainfall event and threatening more severe inland flooding.
Tropical storm Beta’s rainfall is forecast to reach accumulation totals widely of 8 to 12 inches with isolated totals of 20 inches, from the middle Texas coast to southern Louisiana. 4 to 8 inches of rainfall is expected north of that into the lower Mississippi River Valley by mid-week.
The NHC warns that flash and urban flooding is likely, while minor to isolated moderate river flooding is also possible.
After hurricanes Laura and Sally, the Gulf Coast region has been soaked in the last few weeks and storm Beta is only going to add to the totals, some of which are in overlapping areas.
As ever, a largely rainfall or flood focused tropical storm landfall does not present a particularly significant threat for reinsurance markets, with more of the losses likely to fall to the NFIP as well as private insurers offering flood coverage in the affected region.
But, as another landfalling storm, tropical storm Beta is likely to deliver more aggregate erosion to some insurance carriers reinsurance deductibles, as the impacts from the very active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season continue.