The 2020 hurricane season officially kicks off June 1; however, a tropical disturbance off the coast of the Bahamas could make this the 6th consecutive year with pre-season tropical activity, reinforcing the need to have a comprehensive disaster risk reduction plan.
In the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast, our experts provide a comprehensive overview of the current weather patterns and how it will influence the hurricane season, a look back at previous hurricane seasons for lessons learned, and business continuity recommendations specific to tropical cyclones.
COVID-19 to Affect Hurricane Season
As organizations continue to deal with the ongoing effects of COVID-19, this year's hurricane season introduces a new layer of concerns for businesses in coastal areas. With limited resources available to effectively respond to an additional crisis and first responders already strained, a tropical storm of any magnitude could be worrisome for an organization.
Costliest Natural Disaster
Tropical cyclones are the costliest form of natural disasters. In 2018, hurricane-related damages were estimated at $91 billion; in 2019, 18 tropical storms caused more than $45 billion in damages. Hurricane Dorian set new records while traversing from the Bahamas and up the east coast, making landfall in 9 US states before taking aim at Canada. Causing more than $4.68 billion in damages, Dorian is the 28th costliest storm on record. Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Hurricane Harvey (2017) still hold the record for the costliest storms on record, each with damage estimates of $125 billion. However, it's Tropical Storm Imelda (2019) that reminds us even relatively small storms have the ability to pack a powerful, and costly, punch. After more than 43" of rain fell across several Gulf states, Imelda's $5 billion in damages is largely the result of severe flooding.
In addition to record-setting pre-season tropical activity, 2019 marked the 4th consecutive year with above-average tropical activity. If the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forecast holds as it has in previous years, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season could be significant. Find out what other historic trends are likely to influence this year's season.
Access the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast report.