Atlantic Basin could see up to 23 named storms over six months

Lloyd’s insurers, already reeling from a series of catastrophes earlier this year, are bracing themselves for an ‘active to extremely active’ hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s seasonal outlook predicts a 70% probability that 14-23 named storms will form in the Atlantic Basin during the six-month season, which starts this week. Of these, the administration predicts that three to seven could be ‘major hurricanes’.

The ranges contained in the outlook exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

“If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record,” said under-secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, Jane Lubchenco, in a statement. “The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared.”

Insurers are already counting the cost this year of the Chilean earthquake, the BP oil rig disaster in the Gulf of New Mexico and European Windstorm Xynthia.