You don’t have to look very far to find many examples of extreme weather this month, from raging wild fires in Australia and Tasmania to floods in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. In Europe and the UK, heavy snow falls have caused a widespread disruption in travel.
According to the recent assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC), these extremes are the type we expect to see more of.
One challenge facing insurers is how they can assess the impact of these weather extremes. To do so, catastrophe modeling will play a crucial role. It remains challenging to capture long-term extreme weather trends and put them into models.
Australia started out the new years with record-breaking temperatures that lasted more than two weeks. Temps have commonly gone above 48°C, which has caused raging wildfires in a large part of the country. The highest was 49.6°C at Moomba Airport, located in southern part of Australia. The average temperature in Australia rarely goes above 39°C for more than 48 hours.
A three-day run has only happened three times in the past, and fours days, one time back in 1972. January has seen average temperatures over 39° for seven days consecutively and above 38°C for 11-days.
The wildfires in Australia and heavy snow in Europe are leading the way for what’s to come. IPCC scientists predict that we will see increased heavy rains in East Africa, less rainfall in northeast Brazil, severe heat waves in the Mediterranean and southern Europe.