Reinsurance News

Hurricane Idalia makes landfall as a Cat 3 with 125mph sustained winds

30th August 2023 - Author: Luke Gallin

Hurricane Idalia has now made landfall on the big bend section of the Florida coast as a major Category 3 hurricane, and continues to move towards the north-northeast at a speed near 18mph, according to the latest update from the NHC.

The NHC reports that hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.

Idalia made landfall at Keaton Beach and a north-northeastward motion is expected through the morning local time, with the NHC stating that the hurricane’s center is forecast to move into southern Georgia later today.

“Although Idalia will weaken further now that the center is inland, it is likely to still be a hurricane while moving across southern Georgia, and near the coast of Georgia or southern South Carolina late today. Idalia is forecast to be a tropical storm while moving near the coasts of northeastern South Carolina and North Carolina tonight and on Thursday,” says the NHC in its latest update.

Insurers and reinsurers will have been watching the track and landfall location of Idalia closely, as this is vital in determining the level of industry losses.

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While the landfall location has a much lower population density than some other areas, catastrophic storm surge and damaging hurricane-force winds will continue and impact numerous areas.

Although clearly far too early to accurately estimate what insured losses will be from this storm, reinsurance broker Gallagher Re has cited a possible industry loss in the low single-digit billions.

However, it’s likely that losses in the mid to higher single digits is also possible from Idalia, once you take into account the impacts into Georgia and the Carolinas as well.

See below for the latest location with wind speed and sea surface temperature forecast in Tomer Burg’s forecast map for Idalia:

Hurricane Idalia forecast path, tracking map, intensity, Florida

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