Winter storms caused $1.9 billion in insured losses in 2013, five times higher than the $38 million in damages seen in 2012, so it’s good to read via NOAA’s U.S. Winter Outlook that a repeat of last year’s winter of record cold and snow is unlikely.
In a release, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says:
Last year’s winter was exceptionally cold and snowy across most of the United States, east of the Rockies. A repeat of this extreme pattern is unlikely this year, although the Outlook does favor below-average temperatures in the south-central and southeastern states.”
While the South may experience a colder winter, the Outlook favors warmer-than-average temperatures in the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and New England, according to NOAA.
It’s important to note that for insurers, winter storms are historically very expensive and the third-largest cause of catastrophe losses, behind only hurricanes and tornadoes, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
From 1994 to 2013, winter storms resulted in about $26.6 billion in insured losses, or $1.4 billion a year, on average, according to the Property Claim Services unit of ISO.
Mike Halpert, acting director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, says: