new Metrics, Familiar Prediction:
another active Hurricane Season
Chances are high that 2012 will be another active hur- ricane season in the Atlan- tic if an El Niño does not
develop, say forecasters at Colorado State
When releasing its early season fore-
cast, Philip Klotzbach and William Gray
noted that the CSU forecast team they
comprise decided to dispense with the
usual numerical forecast for the number
of storms. Instead, Klotzbach and Gray
issued the forecast in terms of the prob-
abilities “of the key factors influencing the
The reason for the change, they say, is
the difficulty forecasters have in determin-
ing whether an El Niño will occur in the
Pacific, which impacts the Atlantic hurri-
cane season. The team noted a 45-percent
chance that climate conditions that have
persisted since 1995 will continue along
The Tempests of 2011
The official 2011 hurricane season began on June 1 and ended on
nov. 30. Category- 3 Irene led the way as the first hurricane, causing
substantial damage and flooding in the northeast. Ophelia, the most
intense storm of the season, was a Cape Verde-type hurricane that
became a category- 4 hurricane. A record sequence of weak tropical
storms, beginning with Arlene and ending with Harvey, also transpired.
Below is a list of the named storms of the season. Note that Nate was
upgraded to hurricane status.
J Tropical Storm Arlene
J Tropical Storm Bret
J Tropical Storm Cindy
J Tropical Storm Don
J Tropical Storm Emily
J Tropical Storm Franklin
J Tropical Storm Gert
J Tropical Storm Harvey
J Hurricane Irene
J Tropical Depression Ten
J Tropical Storm Jose
J Hurricane Katia
J Tropical Storm Lee
J Hurricane Maria
J Hurricane Nate
J Hurricane Ophelia
J Hurricane Philippe
Source: The National Hurricane Center
with no El Niño development in the Pacific. These conditions include warmer water
temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and
reduced vertical wind shear—conducive
conditions for hurricane formation.
Should that be the case, hurricane activ-
ity would be 140 percent of the average sea-
son, which would be characterized as 12 to
15 named storms, seven to nine hurricanes,
and as many as four major hurricanes—cat-
egory 3, 4, or 5, with sustained winds of 111
miles per hour (mph) and greater. The team
Hurricane Season p. 10 A
SPEaKinG OF 2012 WIND CoNfERENCE
With Michelle Griffin, Executive Director,
Windstorm insurance network
Come to learn. Become engaged. Connect. These are the opportunities offered at the 2012 Windstorm Insurance Conference (WIND). The
13th annual event, themed “After the Catastrophe: Education for the
Claims Professional,” will be held Jan. 30 through Feb. 2 in Orlando,
Fla. Claims Assistant Editor Melissa Stewart spoke with WIND Executive Director Michelle Griffin for a preview of the many offerings available this year, including professional development, continuing education (CE), and networking.
How do you keep WinD fresh and exciting?
Our focus is to provide instruction on topics that are being faced in
the field. If our audience wants to know how to handle and properly
respond to subtle aspects of a particular topic, then our conference
committee finds instructors who have experience in those claims
situations. Unlike any other insurance conference or seminar, we
have panelists who represent insurer, as well as policyholder view-
points. It is very informative to learn from ‘the other side.’
In addition, our audience does not want to hear attorneys talk
about the law or hear ‘war stories’ from senior claims adjusters.
So, we give them new circumstances with explanations about how
those new circumstances should be practi-
What is new this year?
WIND Appraiser Certification is the most significant new offering. Appraisals are increasingly becoming a more common forum for resolving large, complex, or contested property
insurance claims. Space for this double-ses-sion workshop is limited to 100 registrants. We
expect it to fill quickly because the certification
will be a calling card for employment that distinguishes appraisers.
G Griffin has been with
WinD since the founding of
the conference in 1999.
What are you looking forward to the most?
I’m looking forward to the two keynote speakers. Our opening session
keynote speaker, Keni Thomas, gave a presentation at our Spring Regional Symposium in Atlanta. It was so inspiring; we took the unprecedented step of asking for an encore. The movie Blackhawk Down
is based on his Army Company’s mission in Mogadishu, Somalia. His
message is compelling. I am telling everyone not to miss it.