Tag Archives: Hurricanes

Eye on the Tropics –Danielle, Earl and more – Aug 26, 2010

We’ve been waiting for this – The 2010 Tropical season is heating up.  As the transition from the El Niño to La Niña winds down we expected the Atlantic hurricane season to pick up.  This was what all of the hurricane experts were predicting.

Currently there is 1 hurricane (Danielle), 1 Tropical Storm (Earl) and 2 others that are being closely watched.

Hurricane Danielle

As of:  11amLocation:  24.4° N, 55.9° W or approximately 770 miles Southeast of BermudaMaximum sustained winds: 105 mph or Category 2.  Gusting up to 120 mphMovement: NW 15 mphPressure:  28.64 inches or 970 mb

Hurricane Danielle is expected to turn more to the north by the weekend bringing the storm very close to Bermuda on Sunday.  Though the eye is expected to remain east of Bermuda, the island will be heavily impacted by this strong hurricane.  Danielle is expected to reach Category 3 intensity before the weekend. 

Hurricane Danielle forecast model
Hurricane Danielle Spaghetti model

Tropical Storm Earl

As of:  11amLocation:  14.9° N, 37.1° W or approximately or approximately 1735 miles east of the Northern Leeward IslandsMaximum sustained winds: 45 mph.  Gusting up to 55 mphMovement: W 17 mphPressure:  29.65 inches or 1004 mb

As with Danielle, Tropical Storm Earl is not forecast to be a threat to the U.S.  The same weakness that Hurricane Danielle found that has her turning toward Bermuda is expected to remain long enough for Earl to follow the similar path. 

Tropical Storm Earl forecast model
Tropical Storm Earl Spaghetti model

Also watching

There is a strong looking system just west of the coast of Africa that is expected to strengthen to storm status and a system brewing in the Gulf of Mexico.  One of these is expected to become Tropical Storm Fiona over the next few days.

New storm coming off coast of Africa – Tropical Storm Earl to the left
A mess in the Gulf of Mexico – Low pressure system could become tropical storm

Also, there are a series of storms currently crossing Africa that can be seen in the last picture from NOAA. (H/T to Joe Bastardi)

‘Parade’ of storms across Africa & Atlantic Ocean
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TS Claudette makes landfall; Bill becomes hurricane [August 17]

Eye on the Tropics – Monday, August 17, 2009

tropics monday 1

Tropical Storm Claudette

Tropical Storm Claudette made landfall early Monday morning near Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  It was located near 30.9 north and 87.0 west or about 40 miles northwest of Fort Walton Beach.

Claudette has sustained winds of 40 mph and is heading northwest at 12 mph.  Estimated central pressure is 1006 millibars or 29.71 inches.

[More on Ana, Bill and Claudette]

Tropical Storm Claudette and updates on TD Ana and TS Bill

Tropical Storm Claudette

TD 4 intensified Sunday into Tropical Storm Claudette.  It is located around 40 miles South – Southwest of Apalachicola, Florida.  Maximum sustained winds remain at 50 mph with higher gusts.  Claudette is moving to the  Northwest at 14 mph. 

A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect from the Alabama / Florida border eastward to the Suwannee River in Florida.

Claudette 1 

Tropical Storm Bill

Bill is now projected to possibly become the season’s first major hurricane later this week.  Projections also now indicate a more northerly track and a possible movement away from the U.S. coastline.

bill 1 

Tropical Depression Ana

Ana weakened into a tropical depression on Sunday as it moved closer to the Caribbean Islands. 

From AccuWeather:

At 5 p.m. EDT Sunday, a tropical storm watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano westward to Cabo Beata.

A tropical Storm watch remains in effect for Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin islands, Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, Guadeloupe and St. Barthelemy.

Ana will skirt the islands of the northern Caribbean early this week, bringing squally weather to those countries. There is still some uncertainty in whether or not Ana will be able re-strengthen before potentially impacting Florida as early as Thursday

 ana 1

For spaghetti models – see post from earlier today.

Hurricane Season Gets Started – Ana, Bill and TD4

The 2009 Hurricane season was very quiet until late in the week as 3 systems formed – 2 in the Atlantic and 1 in the Gulf of Mexico.  The first storm of the hurricane season typically forms around the middle of August so there really are no surprises this year.   Remember, in 1992, Hurricane Andrew formed on August 16th

All Storms 3

[More on Ana, Bill and TD4]

State Farm announces pull-out from Florida – sends me letter that they’ll still take my money for auto

I am not certain how much national attention this story received but State Farm announced last week that they will be pulling their Homeowner’s Insurance coverage from Florida because their request of a 47% rate increase was rejected.

Actually, they said they planned to request the 67% rate hike but only requested a 47% hike because they figured they had a better chance of getting the 47% increase approved.

Let’s think about that a second. A 47% rate hike?

Let’s say that you just paid $2,000 for homeowners insurance, you would have to pay $2,940 the next year.

If you planned on buying a television for $2,000 would you be okay paying almost $3,000 for the same TV later? Then again, at least you could shop for a different brand of TV. We don’t have that luxury in Florida with homeowner’s insurance as most companies either bailed out of Florida already or no longer write new policies to home owners.

That means if your homeowner’s insurance policy is cancelled, most likely you will have to seek coverage from Citizens Property Insurance Company – a nonprofit company established in 2002 to offer Floridians coverage where private insurers will not write policies.  

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty had rejected the State Farm bid for the huge increase.  

kevin-mccarty

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty

“I will do everything within my power to protect Florida consumers from unnecessary destabilization of the insurance market that this might cause and to ensure that Florida consumers are protected and have access to insurance at rates that are not excessive or unfairly discriminatory,” McCarty said.

We’re very disappointed with (the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s) decision not to grant rate relief,” State Farm spokesman Chris Neal said. “We believe the facts we presented should have led to a different outcome.”

A 47% increase isn’t rate relief? What about the 9% increase in 2007? I would say that this is relief – but a 47% increase? That’s rate rape.

“The courts have backed up the insurance commissioner and the result is lower rates,” said Bill Newton, director of Florida Consumers Action Network. “State Farm ought to play it a little straighter and ask for a realistic rate backed up by the numbers, not a speculative shoot-for-the-moon number.”

As a result of the rejection, State Farm has announced that they will pull out of Florida – no longer renewing the policies for the 1.2 million customers. The excuse, of course, is due to the losses they have suffered since the 2004 hurricane season.

I admit that they had big losses in 2004 and 2005 but the last 3 years have been particularly light and should have been profitable. And what about all the other years before 2004 when hurricane seasons had been light?

State Farm claims that since 2000 they have paid out $1.21 in claims for every dollar they have collected in premiums. They said that they have suffered billions of dollars in losses due to the 4 major hurricanes hit Florida.

In 1998, State Farm Florida was created as a separate entity “to address what the company called the ‘unique risks’ of doing business in Florida. Do they have the same types of entities to deal with earthquakes and mudslides in California, tornados in Kansas, or hurricanes in the other Gulf Coast states?

Since they didn’t get their massive rate increase, State Farm is planning on taking their toys and going home.

Well not all their toys. Just the ones that may not make money.

I received a letter from State Farm that read:

Dear State Farm Policyholder,

You may have seen or heard the recent announcement that State Farm Florida Insurance Company (State Farm Florida) has submitted a plan to discontinue its property insurance lines in Florida. I want to clarify for you that this plan involves insurance coverage only for homeowners, renters, condominium unit owners, personal liability, boats, personal watercraft, personal articles and business property and liability policies.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm Mutual) and its affiliated companies will continue to provide – as they have for decades – automobile insurance, life insurance, health insurance and other financial products and services in Florida.

State Farm has kindly informed me that my homeowners, flood insurance, wind (hurricane), mold and personal articles and property will no longer be covered in the future. But they will gladly continue to accept my money for my automobile insurance.

Uh, I think not.

state-farm-logoWhat State Farm doesn’t get is that I’ve stayed with their insurance company all these years because of the multi-line discount they offered. I also suspected that if they reduced the coverage to some customers, the likelihood diminished the more lines of coverage you had.

Since they no longer want my business for the riskier investments, I’ll have to look around to see if there are any companies out there willing to provide me these lost policies. Of course, I will not keep my automobile coverage with them either.

I suspect that this is the general feeling by all of the 1.2 million of us who are about to lose our coverage. I know Governor Charlie Crist agrees and has told State Farm that if they are going to drop the homeowner’s coverage that they should pick up their agents and get out of Florida.

State Farm has been charging some of the highest rates in our state for a long time. They haven’t been very friendly to our people and if they want to leave the state goodbye,” Crist says.

“I don’t think we need them,” Crist says. “I don’t want to work with them to give them a rate increase hell no.”

I agree with the governor. My rates are very high across the board but as I was fearful they would drop my coverage, I paid for the extra lines of coverage since my options for homeowners insurance was so limited.

 

Sources:

Regulators reject State Farm rate hike

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sfl-statefarm0112,0,1433397.story

State Farm to stop insuring Florida

Governor Crist sounds off on State Farm

State of Florida case: – State Farm Florida Insurance Company, Petitioner, vs. Office of Insurance Regulation, Respondent