Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development center of excellence at Aon Benfield, said that Windstorms Xaver and Dirk could combine to cause more than $2.25 billion in economic damages across Europe in a report released Tuesday.

The forecast was included in the latest edition of the unit’s monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during December 2013.

The report reveals that Europe was impacted by a series of windstorms during the month, including Windstorm Xaver, which moved through the north of the continent killing at least 15 people and producing insured losses of around EUR800 million ($1.1 billion), with Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, and Poland the most affected.

Windstorm Dirk brought strong winds and heavy rain to Western and Northern Europe, killing at least six people and resulting in a total insured loss of around EUR360 million ($500 million).

Damage was greatest in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Poland, while areas of Scandinavia were also affected by Dirk, the report said.

Elsewhere during December:

  • Stretches of inclement winter weather also affected North America as a broad storm system swept across the entire United States killing at least 18 people and resulting in total economic losses in excess of $100 million.
  • Meanwhile, one of the strongest winter storms in years impacted the Middle East in December, killing at least 10 people and producing total combined economic losses of around $500 million. Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, and Cyprus were all affected.
  • Some of the worst flooding in 90 years affected parts of southeastern Brazil, killing at least 48 people. The Brazilian government allocated BRL3.2 billion ($1.4 billion) for flood recovery, with the hardest-hit areas including the states of Espiritu Santo and Minas Gerais.
  • Heavy snow and rain affected China’s provincial regions of Hainan, Yunnan and Sichuan, leaving 90,000 people homeless. Total economic losses were listed at CNY2.5 billion ($410 million).

Impact Forecasting is scheduled to launch its Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report on Monday, Jan. 13, which will provide a comprehensive analysis of the natural peril events that occurred during 2013. The report will also include historical loss data trend analysis for the U.S., Americas, EMEA, and APAC, and a wide range of climatological data.

Source: Aon Benfield