Five thoughts on Hurricane Harvey

Finally a major hurricane has made landfall, ending the much talked about (although somewhat arbitrarily-defined) hurricane drought, that not only provides us with plenty to talk about, but valuable data not just for meteorologists but those of us in the catastrophe modelling community. Here's five things that sprung to mind over the past couple of days: Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperatures and landfalls It is worth noting that maybe we shouldn't be *too* surprised about Harvey's landfall. Without any scientific consensus on a mechanism for the hurricane drought, it's fair to say that we were "overdue" a landfall somewhere (not that being overdue is in any way shape or form scientific rea

Climate modelling and catastrophe modelling

Since 1990, the UK hasn't experienced a really severe windstorm. You can point the finger at Kyrill in 2007 or Christian in 2013, but neither of these really hold a candle to the October Storm of 1987 or Daria in 1990. Meanwhile France, with Lothar, Martin, Xynthia and Klaus since 1999 have had more than their fair share. Is this a trend or is it just down to sheer bad luck for France? The above question is just one of many that we can potentially inform ourselves better on (if not necessarily get a firm "yes" or "no" on) by adopting some of the methods used in the climate modelling community. One of the most promising aspects of climate modelling is the sheer volume of global climate model