New Research Explains Changing Severe Weather Frequency in the United States and Canada

Verisk Climate Emerging Risk research program creates new data sets and assesses causal factors in severe weather patterns

Lexington, Mass. (Dec. 3, 2014) – Verisk Climate has announced that its scientists presented new research that quantifies the changing behavior of severe thunderstorms in North America. The research team developed a new view of severe weather that systematically analyzes and explains changes in the patterns of severe wind, hail, and tornado perils in recent decades. Verisk Climate is a Verisk Analytics business.

“Susceptibility to hail in Canada and the northern United States is at historic levels since the 1990s,” said Jason C. Furtado, Ph.D., staff scientist at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), a division of Verisk Climate. “There’s also strong evidence that both annual and interannual hail frequency has been more variable in the central U.S. over the past one to two decades.”

“In Canada, the threat of hail-producing storms has been more frequent over the past two decades,” continued Furtado. “This departure from the norm has been attributed to causal factors that are consistent with climate change scenarios.”

“We’re applying AER’s objective scientific research to help the insurance industry better understand why severe thunderstorm patterns have been distinctive in recent decades,” said Guy Seeley, Ph.D., executive vice president of Advanced Development Programs and Technical Operations at Verisk Climate. “These research results provide actionable data that insurers and corporations can use to gain additional perspective on recent severe weather that has made it more challenging for them to effectively predict and manage weather risks and related costs.”

To ground the research in the industry’s operational needs, Verisk scientists looked beyond correlations to quantify and communicate the fundamental factors driving severe weather activity. They applied cutting-edge data science methods to consistently assess atmospheric and storm data trends from the 1940s to the present. The results show regional changes in the frequency of severe weather events throughout North America in recent decades, enabling a new view of potential future activity.

Verisk Climate presented the phase one results about the emerging risk to advisory panels in the United States and Canada. The Emerging Risk research program is cosponsored by insurance industry and financial sector companies.

About Verisk Climate

Verisk Climate helps make society more resilient to the volatile natural environment. The business provides software, data, and analytics for enterprise climate risk management. Its solutions help corporations improve resilience and profitability while enhancing service to their customers. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers rely on Verisk Climate to accelerate revenue growth through more accurate forecasts of product demand and to promote stable operations by helping mitigate supply chain risk. Insurance carriers can apply Verisk Climate solutions to help improve customer service and reduce their property combined ratios through more accurate risk selection and lower claims expense. Verisk Climate innovations draw on the data and proprietary analytics of Verisk Analytics, including disaster risk models from AIR Worldwide and environmental data and expertise from Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER). Verisk Climate is a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business. For more information, visit

Source: Verisk Climate