August 26, 2017

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 wo...

August 21, 2017

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 on...

April 5, 2017

What on earth is going on? There we were, lined up for blockbusters of hurricane seasons post-2004 and 2005. Vendor models were primed for it, but nothing happened. Do we really understand what's going on at the moment, and how much can we use what's happened recently to understand the future landscape of hurricane risk?​

The world of cat modelling matures in a scientific sandbox of ideas. The understanding around...

March 1, 2017

Much of how we underwrite and model nowadays is done under the watchful eye (some I'm sure might say handcuffs) of the regulator. Whether you like it or not, there is obvious prudence inherent in the guidelines to ensure companies are capitalised to withstand that 1-in-200 year event or year when it does arrive. But how much do we know about the sort of events that make up the tail?

US Hurricane, eh? Boooring!...

February 8, 2017

If you want the executive summary, the title gives it away: combining hazard and vulnerability from two different sources doesn't necessarily create you a new model, much as it would be wonderfully efficient for us all to help create new views of risk.

However, this article is intended to highlight the caveats around combining different views of hazard and vulnerability. This is with an eye on an exciting, impendin...

November 21, 2016

This may seem like a confession only ever heard at a gathering of Meteorologists Anonymous, but I have a favourite windstorm. It's possible you've never heard of "The Greenhouse Low", but in terms of its severity, it's one from which we can learn things, especially with regards the type of event we might see when The Big One finally happens in Europe.

Over the course of two days in early Februar...

November 1, 2016

Given the number of years since a major hurricane landfall, naturally Hurricane Matthew drew a lot of attention. I'll leave the meteorological autopsy of the event to the many excellent summaries from catastrophe modelling companies, brokers and re/insurers that have appeared and offer up five observations that struck me during and after the event. 

Loss data for cat model improvements: "same old sam...

October 21, 2016

Hurricane modelling following the active years of 2004 and 2005 was enlivened by the recognition of - and arguments around - the decadal see-sawing of the sea-surface temperatures in Atlantic Basin and its possible influence on hurricane frequency. However I'm not here to discuss this rather thorny issue given recent reductions in landfall activity, but rather use it as an e...

September 18, 2016

A very brief hello! I intend to use this blog to write on anything from a topical subject to a distillation of research that will appear on the Research page. However the common theme on this blog is that they will be short, five-minute reads. The topics will always be relevant to natural hazards and will hopefully offer nothing more than an opinion that might provoke thought or discussion. You...

November 1, 2013

Much was made in the mainstream media that Windstorm Christian – that only had moderate impacts of the United Kingdom - was far removed from the infamous October Storm of 1987. However digging a little deeper into the lifecycle of these two events actually highlights that these two events were a lot closer than meets the eye and are both are good examples of a class of windstorm that has the potential to be partic...

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