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The Weather Co. has increased its tropical storm forecast for the 2017 season.
The Andover, Massachusetts-based company now expects a total of 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes for the North Atlantic basin this season — an increase from the 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes projected in April and the 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes forecast in May, according to a Monday statement.
The current forecast numbers are higher than the long-term 1950-2016 normals of 12 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, but match the recent 1995-2016 “active period” normal, according to the company.
“The clear trends towards warmer North Atlantic Ocean temperatures and reduced El Niño expectations have continued into June,” Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist, said in the statement. “Dynamical model forecasts are also a bit more aggressive again this month. The evidence clearly supports another bump in our forecast, so we have moved our numbers up. As in recent years, we expect increased odds of East Coast storm activity, relative to normal, with reduced odds in the Gulf compared to historical averages.”
Data from U.K.-based reinsurance broker Aon Benfield Group Ltd. showed that hurricane Matthew caused an estimated loss of $4.5 billion to the insurance and reinsurance industry and an economic loss of almost $15 billion, Artemis.bm reported. The hurricane, which struck in October 2016, caused about $400 million in insured losses in the Bahamas, $80 million in Canada and nearly $30 million in the Caribbean countries.