Looking Back to 2014, Ahead to 2015 at Natural Disaster Activity

Fewer tornadoes, a mild hurricane season, lower acreage lost to wildfires, overall less flood and other damage— all in all, 2014 was not as bad as it could have been for natural disasters in the U.S.

That’s according to global property information and analytics firm CoreLogic, which released its annual Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis detailing the most significant natural disasters of 2014 and providing several projections for 2015.

The report provides a look at the year’s hurricanes, floods, hailstorms, tornadoes, wildfires, sinkholes, earthquakes, tropical cyclones and typhoon events in the U.S. as well as an international snapshot of the hazard events that caused significant damage across the globe.

Among key findings in the U.S., the CoreLogic 2014 Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis notes:

Looking ahead to 2015, if the number or geographical extent of storms producing larger, damaging hail returns to near or above recent norms, the country will likely see a more severe hail season in 2015 and possibly higher insurance claims volume in comparison to 2013 and 2014, according to CoreLogic’s analysis.

Early drought forecasts for 2015 indicate the likelihood of a continuation of drought conditions in the west. The accumulation of higher levels of dry fuel mean that the elevated risk for wildfires seen over the past few years will continue.

The report says that it is possible that the U.S. may still have two to three years of near-average flood-related damage before the next catastrophic loss occurs, based on projections from historic data. The 2015 flood losses could total between $5-6 billion, with flash flooding events continuing to account for a large percentage of overall annual damage.

Source: CoreLogic