Tornadoes, thunderstorms, hail drive another $1bn+ U.S. weather week: Aon

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For the second week in a row, a convective weather setup across much of the United States has driven severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds and resulted in flooding, all of which is expected to drive more than a $1 billion of losses, the majority of which will fall to insurance and reinsurance capital, according to Aon.

Supercell and tornado severe convective weatherThe insurance and reinsurance broker’s Impact Forecasting catastrophe risk division explained that the severe thunderstorm weather and related perils impacted the Central and Eastern U.S., with particular damaging impacts seen and historic flooding continuing in some river basins.

Between May 24th and May 30th at least three people were killed by the severe weather and nearly 100 others injured, with more than 150 confirmed tornadoes touching down, large hail striking wide areas, while damaging straight-line winds exacerbated the impacts and historic river flooding along the Arkansas River continued, Aon’s unit said.

Tornadoes that struck El Reno, Oklahoma and Celina, Ohio, were responsible for the fatalities this week, while 2019’s second and third EF4 strength tornadoes caused significant damage in parts of Montgomery County, Ohio and Douglas and Leavenworth counties in Kansas during this week.

The count of tornadoes reported continues to run above the average for this point in the year as a result, seen below in this chart from NOAA.

U.S. tornado count and running average

As we explained a couple of days ago, the severe convective style weather seen in recent days was likely to result in another major loss to insurance and reinsurance interests.

Aon’s Impact Forecasting confirms that it expects the severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and wind will drive minimally $1 billion of economic losses this week, with the majority of wind and hail related damage set to fall to insurance capital and perhaps some reinsurance.

The main source of losses will be across the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, and elsewhere in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

That follows on from the previous week, which also saw severe weather causing over $1 billion of economic losses.

However, it will be some time until the full costs of the severe weather seen over May is fully calculated.

Aon’s Impact Forecasting explained, “Given the persistent and multi-week nature of the severe convective storm and flood event, it will be a matter of weeks until full damage assessments are completed.”

Further severe weather is expected in the coming days, according to meteorologists, as the peak convective and tornado weather season continues.

The expectation is that May’s severe weather will result in a multi-billion dollar loss for insurance and reinsurance capital, alongside other catastrophes perhaps making it the most costly month of the year so far.

It’s worth keeping an eye on our U.S. severe thunderstorm page which offers warning graphics, trend data and other useful information for assessing the threat level at any time during the year.

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