Mathew End Game
Matthew is now classified as a post tropical storm as the majority of its energy has merged with a mid-latitude frontal system. As a result Matthew will once again defy the long range forecast models that had suggested Matthew’s energy would travel southward towards the Bahamas. Now Matthew will go out to sea just like the majority of tropical systems and Matthew’s long story will end.
However, the damage is done and it is becoming apparent that water related damages could add up to more than the wind related damages. In fact’ the water damages will continue to add up as many major rivers in Carolinas are expected to hit record flood levels. In some cases there have been dam breaks which is reminiscent of the incredible rain event just over a year ago from tropical moisture from Hurricane Joaquin. So with major rivers still rising, the flood situation is still unfolding, particularly in North Carolina which will lead to more losses in the next few days. However, it is assumed the majority of the inland flooding / river/ storm surge losses are either uninsured or are being assigned to flood policies by the NFIP. As shown yesterday, the National Flood Insurance Program take-up rate by counties which are heavily coastal in nature across northern Florida through the Carolinas decreases for inland counties. Therefore the majority of insured losses should be driven by wind related claims.
This record river flooding is a result of heavy rainfall which in some places has totaled more than 12”
As highlighted in yesterday’s update storm surge has also done a lot of damage along the entire coast from Flroida up to North Carolina.
- Mayport, FL 3.28 feet: Previous record of 2.47’, during Hurricane Jeanne on September 27, 2004 (records since 1928.)
- Fort Pulaski, Georgia 5.06 feet: Previous record of 3.40’ during the October 15, 1947 hurricane (records since 1935.)
- Wilmington, NC 8.21 feet: Previous record of 8.15 feet during Hurricane Hazel in October 1954.
— anne schindler (@schindy) October 8, 2016
Notice in the image above however that one of the areas hardest hit by winds in Florida right along the coastline. Most of the homes are relatively undamaged from this view. Other damage from University Florida Damage Assessment group find minor roof and exterior damage along parts of the Florida coastline with surge leading to most of the damage observed.
As pointed out several days ago, treefall would be enhanced due to the saturated soil conditions in the Carolinas. With this combined with wind gusts and the lack of any significant large scale wind event over the region in several years, wind related tree damage could increase insured losses.
Since wind related damages will likely drive the insured loss, users of BMS iVision can now get a full picture of Matthew’s wind swath by looking at the 1 minute wind speed and 3 sec gust wind speed. In the coming days users will find wind duration information.
The only public report of insurance industry loss numbers was in a report issued Saturday afternoon by, CoreLogic, which estimates Matthew’s insured losses to range between $4B to $8B with 90% of loss being driven by wind claims, 10% by storm surge. These estimates are well below the industry loss estimates projected by the major catastrophe modeling firms late last week. However, they are somewhat inline with the other industry loss numbers from other modeling firms (not yet released publicly).
While Matthew was within 20 miles of bringing much larger insured property losses, Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State has compiled the historic statistics on Hurricane Matthew.
Hurricane Matthew Records/Notable Facts Recap (through October 8)
- 80 mph intensification in 24 hours – the 3rd strongest rapid intensification in the Atlantic on record (trailing Wilma-2005 & Felix-2007).
- 31st Atlantic Category 5 hurricane on record and the 1st since Hurricane Felix (2007)
- Lowest latitude Atlantic Category 5 hurricane on record
- 6th lowest MSLP for any Atlantic October on record at 934 mb (trailing Joan, Opal, Mitch, Wilma & Joaquin). Consistent MLSP records date back to 1979.
- Longest-lived Category 4-5 hurricane in the eastern Caribbean (<=20°N, 90- 60°W) on record.
- Generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy on record for any hurricane in the eastern Caribbean
- Maintained Category 4-5 hurricane strength for 102 hours in October – the longest that a hurricane has maintained Category 4-5 strength on record during October in the Atlantic
- Maintained major hurricane strength for 7.25 days – the longest-lived major hurricane forming after September 25 on record and longest lasting at any time of year since Ivan (2004). Tied with Fabian (2003) for 5th longest major hurricane in satellite era (since 1966)
- Currently ranked 8th for Accumulated Cyclone Energy by an Atlantic hurricane in the satellite era
- 1st Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Haiti since Cleo (1964) – 1st Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Cuba since Ike (2008)
- 1st time on record that a major hurricane has made landfall in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas
- 2nd time that a Category 4 hurricane has made landfall in the Bahamas since 1866 (Joaquin-2015 was the other)
- 1st hurricane to make landfall in South Carolina since Gaston (2004)
- 1st hurricane to make landfall north of Georgia in October since Hazel (1954)
Note: While Atlantic hurricane records go back to 1851, there are likely underestimates in storm intensity prior to the satellite era (since 1966) and especially prior to aircraft reconnaissance (since 1944).