April 24, 2007

Literal Signs of Rhode Island’s Apocalypse?

Carroll Andrew Morse

Here’s one you probably didn’t expect. According to a study by A.M. Best, Rhode Island is a top-10 State in terms of projected damage per square mile caused by tornadoes and “related weather events”…

Most people associate tornado activity with the "Tornado Alley" of the Great Plains states. While this is true in terms of the sheer numbers of tornadoes and losses, surprisingly, catastrophe modeling shows that New Jersey tops the list of the states with the highest average expected, or modeled, insured losses per 1,000 square miles from tornado and related weather events, followed by Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio and Rhode Island. Tornadoes have occurred in all 50 states; however, the high average loss rates in the above-mentioned five states are affected heavily by insured property values in addition to the frequency of the storms, according to a special report issued by A.M. Best Co.
However, according to the National Climatic Data Center, there hasn’t been any property damage caused by a tornado in Rhode Island since 1990. I would hazard a guess that the A.M. Best model doesn't have a high enough resolution to produce accurate results for Rhode Island alone, so we're getting lumped in with Western Massachusetts and its substantially higher tornado rate.

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Today's news:

We're all doomed. Women and minorities hardest hit. Film at 11.

Posted by: Greg at April 24, 2007 10:41 AM

Property damage is higher in NJ because there are more houses packed more closely together.

Wow, where did you guys study probability?

No great mystery, folks.

Posted by: klaus at April 24, 2007 7:51 PM

Then I guess we had better start selling the people of Bergen county high-premium volcano insurance, because if one ever pops up there, it's going to do a heckuva lot of property damage.

Posted by: Andrew at April 24, 2007 8:55 PM
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