Hurricane Florence: The latest data & analytics for P&C insurers

by Jen Smoldt on September 14, 2018

hurricane florence NASA

At a glance:

  • Hurricane Florence is a Cat 2 with maximum sustained winds near 105 mph
  • Potentially catastrophic flooding (20+ inches)
  • Maximum storm surge 9-13 feet
  • Catastrophic flash flooding and major river flooding expected
  • More than 1 million evacuated
  • Expected to crawl near or along the coast of the Carolinas through Friday
  • Moving northwest at 10 mph
  • Landfall expected sometime Friday

Centered about 130 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, Florence is moving northwestward—slowly. Although downgraded to a Cat 2, the original storm surge predictions are still valid with the National Hurricane Center stating Wednesday evening that, "the wind field of the hurricane continues to grow in size. This evolution will produce storm surges similar to that of a more intense, but smaller, hurricane, and thus the storm surge values seen in the previous advisory are still valid."


Florence likely to stall like Harvey, with heavy inland rainfall & flooding

Reminiscent of Hurricane Harvey, Florence is projected to stall, causing potentially catastrophic inland flooding in feet of rain (20+ inches near the coast of North Carolina).

Florence precipitation outlook

Courtesy (forecasts via National Hurricane Center)

Along with the rainfall, hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) will likely start Friday. Dangerous storm surge is expected Thursday night into Friday, and will be highest to the north or northeast of where the center comes ashore.


Courtesy (forecasts via National Hurricane Center)

Access & analyze the storm track with SpatialKey

You can access the current storm path, provided by NOAA, within SpatialKey to understand potential exposure and prepare your plan of action. Now is the time to be working out various what-if scenarios to understand your portfolio impact, such as:  

  • What if Florence stalls when making landfall?
  • What if she heads south skirting the coast for days?
  • What happens if rainfall is further inland and higher than expected?   

To understand your exposure to wind, flood, and storm surge, you can filter and segment data based on characteristics such as wind speed, construction type, and line of business. Check out our 2018 Hurricane Guide containing checklists and best practices to help guide your preparation and operations. 

Hurricane Florence SpatialKey view

View of Hurricane Florence from within SpatialKey using NOAA data. You can analyze the storm track against your current portfolio, understand exposure, test what-if scenarios, and ready your response efforts.

Continue to access footprints throughout the event

We’re currently working with our data partners to provide access to the data listed here:

  • NOAA: surge (indundation maps), precipitation
  • KatRisk: surge, wind, inland flood
  • JBA:  surge, flood footprint, flood depths,
  • Impact Forecasting: surge, wind, inland flood
  • FEMA: flood

To access the above data, as well as other data not listed, reach out to us directly, or contact your SpatialKey account manager regarding availability. Be sure to check SpatialKey’s Data Mart often for the latest footprints. And, as always, the entire SpatialKey team stands ready to assist you as this storm unfolds.


Topics: Flood, Hurricane Data

Popular Posts

Visit our resources page for quick access to our P&C guides and webinars.