February storms in the U.S. are expected to cost insurers more than $1 billion, according to the latest Global Catastrophe Recap from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting.
Five separate storm systems hit the U.S. during the month, bringing heavy snow, frigid cold, freezing rain and ice. The storms resulted in 72 deaths and transportation disruption and business closures in major metropolitan areas.
Early estimates suggest economic losses from the storms will be in the low billions, the report said, with insured losses likely to exceed $1 billion.
Two of the storms belted northeastern parts of the United States during the month, including one that brought record snowfall to parts of the Northeast. In Massachusetts, some locations reported up to 36.0 inches (91.4 centimeters) of snow, while major cities in the region were brought to a virtual standstill as transit systems were closed. Aon Benfield estimates the total economic damage and losses (including business interruption) from these Northeast storms to be at least $500 million.
Forecasters are watching to see what happens next.
“As we begin to transition to the start of the severe weather season, it will be interesting to see if a cooler pattern lingers into the spring months. Should such a scenario occur, it is entirely possible that U.S. tornado totals could remain at historically low levels for a fourth consecutive year,” said Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting senior scientist and meteorologist.
With the temperatures warming up significantly the past couple of weeks, what do you think will happen?