The 2016 And 2015 Hurricane Seasons

During the 2016 North Atlantic hurricane season 15 named storms formed in the Atlantic basin, seven of which were hurricanes, and three of which were major hurricanes. Hurricane Alex was just the second hurricane on record to form in the Atlantic Basin during the month of January according to NOAA.

Storms to have made landfall in 2016 are Bonnie in South Carolina, Connie in western Florida, Danielle in eastern Mexico, Earl in Belize and Mexico, and Hermine in Florida.

Hurricane Hermine made landfall in Florida on September 2 as a Category 1 storm. Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.

Hurricane Matthew formed in late September and became a hurricane in the South Central Caribbean. Matthew dumped heavy rain on the Bahamas, Haiti and Cuba on October 4 and 5 as a Category 3 storm. On October 7 Matthew grazed the eastern coast of Florida, hitting the state with winds as high as 120 mph and torrential rain. The storm has carried extremely powerful winds for a longer period than any other Atlantic storm on record. Matthew made landfall in the United States on Oct. 8 near McClellanville, South Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane. The storm caused storm surge flooding as it moved through Florida, Georgia, Virginia, and North and South Carolina. It was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone on October 9th. The death toll from the storm is up to 46 in the United States. Estimates of insured losses for Hurricane Matthew range from $1.5 billion to $7 billion in the U.S. 

By the end of the 2015 hurricane season, 11 tropical storms developed in the Atlantic Basin, including four hurricanes. Tropical Storm Ana made landfall near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 10, dumped more than six inches of rain in North and South Carolina, and was responsible for one death in North Carolina. Tropical Storm Bill made landfall on Matagorda Island, Texas on June 16 and resulted in two deaths, wind- and storm-surge damage, power outages and a tornado. Danny, the first major hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, formed on August 20 and became a Category 3 storm at its peak and affected the Leeward Islands. Tropical Storm Erica formed on August 24 and was responsible for at least 20 deaths on the island of Dominica. Hurricane Fred, the second hurricane of the season, briefly became a hurricane on August 31. Joaquin became a hurricane on September 30 and reached Category 4 in strength. Joaquin battered the Bahamas and Bermuda with strong winds, storm-surge flooding and torrential rainfall. Joaquin also combined with other weather systems on the southeastern coast of the United States producing record rainfall for Charleston, South Carolina, and other parts of the state. The eastern Pacific Ocean was active again in 2015 as 18 named storms formed, with 13 becoming hurricanes. Hurricane Dolores poured on the desert Southwest, resulting in record rainfalls in Los Angeles and San Diego on July 18. On September 15 the remnants of Hurricane Linda made it the wettest day of the year in Los Angeles. Hurricane Patricia, the strongest storm on record in the Western Hemisphere, hit the west coast of Mexico on October 23 as a Category 5 storm with 165 mph winds.

The following chart from the Property Claim Services (PCS®) unit of ISO, a Verisk Analytics® business, ranks historic hurricanes based on their insured losses, adjusted for inflation. The chart beneath it, from AIR Worldwide Corporation, estimates insured property losses from notable hurricanes from past years, if they were to hit the nation again today with the same meteorological parameters.

Top 10 Costliest Hurricanes In The United States (1)

($ millions)

        Estimated insured loss (2)
Rank Date Location Hurricane Dollars when
In 2015
dollars (3)
1 Aug. 25-30, 2005 AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN Hurricane Katrina $41,100 $49,047
2 Aug. 24-26, 1992 FL, LA Hurricane Andrew 15,500 24,111
3 Oct. 28-31, 2012 CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH,
Hurricane Sandy 18,750 19,563
4 Sep. 12-14, 2008 AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX Hurricane Ike 12,500 13,826
5 Oct. 24, 2005 FL Hurricane Wilma 10,300 12,292
6 Aug. 13-14, 2004 FL, NC, SC Hurricane Charley 7,475 9,207
7 Sep. 15-21, 2004 AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC,
Hurricane Ivan 7,110 8,758
8 Sep. 17-22, 1989 GA, NC, PR, SC, UV, VA Hurricane Hugo 4,195 7,152
9 Sep. 20-26, 2005 AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, TN, TX Hurricane Rita 5,627 6,715
10 Sep. 3-9, 2004 FL, GA, NC, NY, SC Hurricane Frances 4,595 5,660

(1) Includes hurricanes occurring through 2015.
(2) Property coverage only. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(3) Adjusted for inflation through 2015 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator.

Source: Property Claim Services (PCS®), a Verisk Analytics® business.


Estimated Insured Losses For The Top 10 Historical Hurricanes Based On Current Exposures (1)

($ billions)

Rank Date Event Category Insured loss
(current exposures)
1 Sep. 18, 1926 Miami Hurricane 4 $125
2 Aug. 24, 1992 Hurricane Andrew 5 57
3 Sep. 17, 1947 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane 4 53
4 Sep. 17, 1928 Great Okeechobee Hurricane 5 51
5 Aug. 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina 3 (2) 45
6 Sep. 9, 1965 Hurricane Betsy 3 45
7 Sep. 9, 1900 Galveston Hurricane of 1900 4 41
8 Sep. 10, 1960 Hurricane Donna 4 35
9 Sep. 21, 1938 The Great New England Hurricane 3 33
10 Sep. 15, 1950 Hurricane Easy 3 23

(1) Modeled loss to property, contents and business interruption and additional living expenses for residential, mobile home, commercial and auto exposures as of December 31, 2011. Losses include demand surge.
(2) Refers to Katrina’s second landfall in Louisiana.

Source: AIR Worldwide Corporation.