The initial insured property loss estimate for Europe’s extratropical cyclone “Victoria,” also known as “Dennis,” is an estimated €286 million (US$318.4 million), according to PERILS, the independent Zurich-based organization that provides industry-wide catastrophe insurance data.
The event affected the British Isles and northwestern Europe from Feb. 15-17, 2020. It occurred only six days after extratropical cyclone Sabine (aka Ciara and Elsa).
The majority of insurance losses occurred in the UK, Germany and Belgium. Victoria brought heavy rainfall causing a renewed period of flooding mainly in the UK. However, losses classified as flood by insurance companies are not included in the Victoria loss survey.
Storm Victoria/Dennis was the thirteenth named storm of a very active 2019–2020 European windstorm season, said PERILS. In conjunction with the high level of storm activity, a strong jet stream developed in early November and persisted over the North Atlantic for much of the period.
Victoria originated over the U.S. and initially consisted of multiple low-pressure vortices, said PERILS, noting that the storm significantly strengthened after an explosive cyclogenesis, which included a rapid deepening of its central air pressure to 920 millibars, one of the lowest values measured over the North Atlantic since records began more than 150 years ago.
Victoria affected a smaller area across the British Isles and Western Europe than Sabine six days earlier. However, the storm also brought heavy rainfall which contributed to record precipitation during February 2020 across the British Isles. Victoria generated a number of localized flood incidents, particularly in Wales and England.
The low-pressure system associated with the event was named “Victoria” by the Free University of Berlin, and the UK Met Office named the storm “Dennis.”
In line with PERILS’ reporting schedule, an updated estimate of the market loss from Victoria will be made available on 17 May 2020, three months after the event end date.
Photograph: Flooded homes on the banks of the River Severn following Storm Dennis on Feb. 19, 2020, in Worcester, England. Storm Dennis was the second named storm to bring extreme weather in a week and follows in the aftermath of Storm Ciara. Photo credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.
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