Although I handle cases around the country, I live in Houston and naturally pay more attention to weather conditions in and around Texas. As a result, I paid particular attention to a few recent publications that predicted a lighter storm season this year for the southern United States.
El Niño versus La Niña
Surprisingly enough, a recent study indicates that weather in the Pacific Ocean, of all things, provides an indicator for the upcoming southern United States’ storm season. The recent publication in Nature Geoscience noted that if the Pacific enters an El Niño phase, a warming of the ocean’s surface, there may be fewer destructive storms across the South. Likewise, if the ocean cools to a La Niña state, the number of twisters may rise.
The Insurance Information Institute says tornadoes in the southern states accounted for 37.2% of all insured losses in the U.S. from 1994 to 2013. These losses trail only hurricanes and tropical storms as the leading causes of loss across the country for that time period. The Climate Prediction Center also published predictions that El Niño conditions should last through 2015. Accordingly, it seems we can expect a lighter storm season in the southern US.
What Does This Mean For Me?
Before we get too excited about the lighter storm season being predicted for us here in the South, let’s stop and remember how many weather predictions often come to pass. In the meantime, an easier storm season might also provide us the opportunity to be ready for a worse one in 2016. Whichever the case, continue hoping for the best while making preparations to be ready if a storm loss hits you.
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