In late October 2012, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record slammed into New York, one of the world’s most populated cities and one of its leading financial and economic centres. “Super-storm” Sandy grounded air traffic and a massive storm surge flooded the city, forcing authorities to close the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since 9/11.
Willis recently contributed to a major UK Government report that highlights the role of catastrophe modelling in disaster risk reduction. One of the notable comments we can make about Sandy is the way Atlantic climate models very accurately forecast the path of the storm. This allowed New Yorkers to prepare for the impact of the hurricane and evacuate if they wanted to.
Almost a week before the storm hit New York the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) indicated that Sandy would travel up the Eastern seaboard and then take a weird left turn and plough straight into the most populated area of the U.S.
In my recent opinion column in Global Reinsurance I explain why I believe reliable global climate forecasts will soon sit alongside annual economic forecasts.
Rowan Douglas is the CEO of Willis Global Analytics and Chairman of the Willis Research Network. He has contributed to a new UK Government Office of Science report on “Reducing Risks of Future Disasters” published on November 27, 2012.