June 2021 left Europe with its costliest severe storm period on record, according to the latest edition of Aon’s Global Catastrophe Recap report.
The report reveals that Western and Central Europe experienced a significant and prolonged stretch of severe weather from June 17-25, primarily affecting the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria.
The deadliest component of the outbreak was a powerful F4 tornado that left devastating impacts in the Czech region of South Moravia. Six people were killed by the twister, the strongest in the country’s modern record. Widespread hail, wind and flood damage also affected many other parts of Europe, with the total insured impact anticipated to exceed $3.4 billion and overall losses reaching even higher.
Severe weather returned to Central Europe on June 28-30. Large hail was the predominant driver of damage in central Switzerland and Austria, while many parts of Germany experienced flooding.
According to Aon, total aggregated insurance impacts from the outbreaks between June 17 and 30 constitute the costliest stretch of severe weather in European history and fifth costliest globally, with combined losses preliminarily estimated by the national insurance sectors at $4.5 billion, surpassing the previous European record of $4.3 billion set by storm Andreas in 2013.
Indeed, insurers in Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic recorded their costliest stretches of severe weather on record, while Germany experienced the second costliest.
Meanwhile, a prolonged period of historic heat gripped the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Canada in late June, resulting in more than 630 fatalities (Canada: 500+, United States: 138+), with the total likely to rise.
Numerous daily, monthly, and all-time maximum temperature records were set – including many records that were broken in consecutive days, with the state of Washington in the US equalling the state-wide heat record with a reading of 118°F (47.8°C).
Canada also set a new all-time record temperature record on June 29; 121°F (49.6°C) at Lytton, British Columbia. The heat resulted in nearly 200 wildfires in Canada, record energy demands, and notable agricultural losses.
Michal Lörinc, senior catastrophe analyst for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “While the United States generates most headlines given the frequency and aggregated high financial costs associated with severe thunderstorm outbreaks, other parts of the world are also prone to such events.”
“The extended stretch of severe weather in the second half of June across Western and Central Europe featured very large hail, flash floods, and one of the most intense tornadoes recorded in the recent European record. Multi-billion-dollar insured thunderstorm outbreaks are not regularly common in Europe, but they can and do happen.”
Further natural hazard events that occurred worldwide in June include:
- A powerful storm system prompted periods of torrential rains, flash flooding, hurricane-force winds, and wintry weather across parts of eastern and southern Australia from June 9-11. At least two people were killed. Major impacts occurred in parts of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia, which prompted the fourth insurance catastrophe declaration of the year by the Insurance Council of Australia. At least 20,000 claims had been filed with pay-outs listed at AUD182 million ($137 million). Total economic losses were even higher.
- Torrential rainfall and severe thunderstorms led to significant flash flooding across parts of the mid-Mississippi River Valley and the southern Plains in the United States in early June. The total economic cost from the entire event approached $950 million, with agricultural damage in Mississippi and Arkansas due to flooding alone expected to exceed $800 million.
- The seasonal Southwest Monsoon arrived in India in early June. Periods of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms affected several states across the country, with parts of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Tripura the hardest hit. At least 59 people were killed (including at least 27 lightning fatalities in West Bengal), and roughly 2,000 structures damaged to date.
- Tropical Storm Claudette and Tropical Storm Danny both affected the United States in June. Claudette resulted in at least 14 storm-related fatalities as heavy rains, high winds, and severe thunderstorms affected many states across the US South. Danny’s impacts in South Carolina were largely negligible.
To view the full Impact Forecasting June 2021 Global Catastrophe Recap report, click here:
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