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RMS : official end to 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season

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November 30th officially marks the end of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season. This year has seen 19 tropical storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes (Category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) recorded.

Despite the same total number of storms forming in 2011 as 2010, the total insured losses will be significantly higher than those seen in 2010. RMS expects that total insured losses from the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be in the region of US$5.0 billion. The majority of losses are driven by Hurricane Irene in the U.S., causing losses in 14 states in total, with the states of North Carolina, New Jersey, and New York driving the majority of the losses.

The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season ties third with the 1887, 1995, and 2010 season in terms of number of storms, since records began in 1851. The numbers seen in 2011 is almost twice as high as the long-term average (1950-2010) of 10.5 and higher than the average since, and including, 1995 of 14.4, indicating that the Atlantic remains in a period of heightened storm activity.

The number of hurricanes and major hurricane seen in 2011 is only slightly above the long term average of 6.2 and just below the recent (1995-2010) average of 7.9.  On record, only eight seasons have had a lower percentage of hurricanes to tropical storms, two of which saw no hurricanes develop at all.

This year in the U.S., Hurricane Irene made landfall over the east coast in August, and in September, Tropical Storm Lee tracked over the coast of Louisiana.

Elsewhere across the North American continent, Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Ophelia made landfall over extreme eastern Newfoundland, Canada. Arlene, Nate, and Rina made landfall as tropical storms over Mexico, and Tropical Storm Harvey tracked over the Belize coast. Emily, Irene, and Maria tracked through the Caribbean.

RMS will issue a comprehensive review of the 2011 hurricane season in a white paper in January 2012.

Source : RMS