PERILS Releases European Windstorm Catalogue (1979-2015)

May 18, 2017

PERILS, the independent Zurich-based organization that provides industry-wide catastrophe insurance data, has released a storm catalogue containing the gust footprints of more than 200 of the largest European windstorms from the period 1979 to 2015.

The windstorm catalogue was produced in a joint effort between PERILS and the UK Met Office (UKMO).*

Gust footprints were calculated using a combination of numerical weather modeling and actual gust measurements, and were subsequently scaled to representative gusts per CRESTA zone for each storm event, PERILS said.

The resulting PERILS-UKMO Windstorm Catalogue provides the complete history of European extratropical cyclone activity from 1979 to 2015 for 26 European countries. It contains 37 years of storm history encompassing 214 individual storm events, which range from small, unnamed storms to large headline events such as Lothar, Daria or 87J.

The gust data, together with storm footprint maps, are provided in Excel format, said PERILS, noting that the information is at the same geographic resolution as‎ its industry exposure and loss data, which enables analysis of the correlation between historical gust data, and observed losses and damage ratios.

The PERILS-UKMO Windstorm Catalogue can be applied to a different types of analytical research:

  • The gust history can be used to derive European windstorm hazard maps, giving the return periods of various gust-speed levels across Europe.
  • In combination with PERILS industry exposure and loss data, the catalogue can be used to derive damageability functions per territory and per property line of business to help establish the relationship between wind speed and damage degree.
  • The catalogue can be used to model 37 years of windstorm activity based on today’s exposure levels, which in turn can serve to validate the high- to mid-frequency output of probabilistic windstorm models.

The new European windstorm catalogue complements “our exposure and loss data, and will prove very useful in the ongoing validation of probabilistic cat models – particularly in the high- to mid-frequency area, which is critical for re/insurance pricing,” said Luzi Hitz, CEO of PERILS.

“The PERILS-UKMO Windstorm Catalogue will enable users to find answers to a broad spectrum of questions,” said Eduard Held, head of Products at PERILS.

For example, the catalogue will enable them to establish the loss level for a given portfolio to be exceeded once every 20 years, he explained.

In addition, Held said, such information “is essential for the pricing of industry-loss-based transactions such as ILWs and cat bonds, and is at the very core of our ability to better understand European windstorm risk.”

Access to the catalogue is available only to PERILS’ users at www.perils.org via its “Industry Loss, Extratropical Cyclones” section.

* The Met Office is the United Kingdom’s national meteorological service, which provides global weather and climate prediction and analysis as well as extreme hazard analysis to the reinsurance and insurance sectors.

Source: PERILS

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