28 November 2011

A New US Hurricane Record

On December 4, 2011 it will have been 2,232 days since Hurricane Wilma made landfall along the Gulf coast as a category 3 storm back in 2005. That number of days will break the existing record of days between major US hurricane landfalls, which previously was between 8 Sept 1900 (the great Galveston Hurricane) and 19 Oct 1906. Since there won't be any intense hurricanes before next summer, the record will be shattered, with the days between intense hurricane landfalls likely to exceed 2,500 days.

If you are in the insurance or reinsurance business and want to stir up a little constructive mischief, you should ask your favorite catastrophe modeling firm or ratings agency to show you the mathematics behind their estimate of the probability of zero intense hurricane landfalls from 2006 to present (both made at the time and what they'd say today). (Hint: Zero. Zip. Nada.).

This remarkable streak has to end sometime, and likely won't be repeated anytime soon.