Hurricane Watch

We still don’t know the exact track Hurricane Irma will take, but most forecasts have it coming close to a direct hit on Miami or nearby environs. There has been talk over the years of what a Cat 5 hurricane strike on Miami might do, mostly because the Miami area has built up so much since the last time it received a direct hit almost 90 years ago, when the population was tiny. The New York Times reminds us with this photo:

Here’s a table of the largest hurricanes to hit Florida over the last century—Irma looks poised to be larger and stronger than any on this list (see the second photo below):

Hurricane Andrew (top, 1992) compared to Irma

[UPDATE: Roy Spencer thinks the previous photo I had here was incorrect; I’ve substituted this one at his recommendation.]

The Wall Street Journal’s Greg Ip, using figures from Roger Pielke Jr, offers a comparison:

There has been talk, ever since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, of a “super-cat” (meaning super-catastrophe event) that would place severe strain on our insurance system, to which should be added that I recall seeing a number of stories over the last few years that Florida’s state-run hurricane insurance program is just like a public pension: underfunded compared to potential liabilities.

The financial markets seem to have taken note of this, as shown in this series of charts from the people at The WSJ’s Daily Shot:

I expect, like banks in 2008, that the bigger the financial catastrophe, the more likely there will be a bailout from the world’ ultimate re-insurer: the federal government.

Meanwhile, the impact of Harvey on the oil supply chain is evident in the data:

I know Power Line has a lot of readers in south Florida, and we wish you good luck and safety over the next 48 hours. Send us news if you are able.

Responses

Books to read from Power Line