Guy Carpenter Predicts El Niño Event Will Bring Fewer Tropical Cyclone Landfalls

July 17, 2015

El Niño years bring disruptive weather, such as floods and drought, but have an added benefit of leading to fewer than average tropical cyclone landfalls, according to predictions issued by the Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre (GCACIC).

As a result of the current El Niño conditions, there will be fewer than average tropical cyclone landfalls “in the western north Pacific basin, especially in the southern part of the region,” between June and November 2015, said the report published by the GCACIC, which is a joint initiative of the City University of Hong Kong, Guy Carpenter & Company, and the School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong.

The GCACIC Regional Climate Model Forecast predicts 19.9 tropical cyclone formations for the period June through November 2015, compared to average annual cyclone formations of 23 during the non-El Niño years between 2000 and 2010. (The 2015 forecasts are based on an ensemble of simulations, which explains the fractional number of formations and landfalls, the GCACIC says.)

The model forecasts a landfall of 10.3 tropical cyclones between June and November this year, compared with 17.4 landfalls during each of the years between 2000 and 2010.

The Guy Carpenter report, titled “2015 Western North Pacific Basin Tropical Cyclone Predictions,” noted that the El Niño conditions are predicted (with a more than a 90 percent chance) to continue through the autumn of 2015 (as stated by a June 11 advisory issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center).

The report quoted a study by B. Wang B and J. Chan, which affirmed that a distinction needs to be made between strong and moderate El Niño periods.

“If this distinction is not made the impact of El Niño would be overstated in moderate El Niño periods and understated in strong El Niño periods. The findings from this study show that during strong El Niño years the tropical cyclone formations tend to shift southeastward, their lifespan is longer and their tracks are significantly different with more cyclones recurving northward,” the GCACIC noted.

“Climate change will continue to impact the fast developing Asia-Pacific region in significant ways,” said James Nash, CEO of Asia-Pacific Region, Guy Carpenter. “We will push forward under the centre’s mission, as we have since 2009, to understand changing weather patterns and their impact to our communities and our business.”

Source: Guy Carpenter

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