AccuWeather’s estimates before and as catastrophic events occurred prevented loss of life and kept people out of harm’s way.
AccuWeather most precisely forecasted the economic toll of weather disasters in 2017 well ahead of other sources and correctly predicted 2017 would be one of the costliest years for weather events on record.
In January 2018, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its official report on the total economic toll of 2017’s catastrophic weather events. NOAA’s record-setting assessment of more than $306 billion most closely matched AccuWeather’s estimates of the costs of these events, which AccuWeather made before and as they were occurring. Other estimates of damage, even by financial entities, were underestimated and underpredicted.
NOAA’s report cited 16 weather and climate events in 2017, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and a catastrophic spate of California wildfires. Each of the events caused at least $1 billion in losses and devastation, and most far exceeded that amount.
Estimates offered before and during the events as they unfolded by Dr. Joel N. Myers, Founder, President and Chairman of AccuWeather, proved to be the most accurate. Myers predicted the hurricanes would cause devastation costing $290 billion, and forecasted an additional $70 billion in losses from the California wildfires.
Myers’ total estimate of $360 billion was extremely close to NOAA’s findings, and was far more precise than any other publicly available prediction. Final tallies of the economic impact from 2017 weather events are still to be determined as personal losses, including irreplaceable papers, valuables, photos and other mementos, as well as losses to businesses and revenue in the affected states have yet to be calculated.
In August, Myers became concerned that other reputable sources, including credit rating and financial agencies, were far underestimating the damage, related economic tolls and, most important, the grave nature of the catastrophes, beginning with Hurricane Harvey.
“Other estimates were underpredicting and underestimating the destructive potential of these events, and we were concerned that people, government officials and businesses wouldn’t act with appropriate urgency to save lives and get to safety,” said Myers.
“In our 55 years of forecasting weather and issuing severe weather warnings that stressed the impact on people and property so people will take the proper and correct action, we have seen that time and again, the information is incomplete if forecasters don’t also clearly communicate the impact of severe weather so people and businesses take action. We wanted people and businesses to be aware of the full extent of the damage expected. We advised accordingly, as we felt it was our obligation.”
People rely on AccuWeather every day to plan their lives and stay safe when severe weather occurs. Businesses depend on AccuWeather to protect their employees, help them operate more efficiently and make the best decisions when weather is a factor.
“SUPERIOR ACCURACY IS WHY WE ARE THE MOST TRUSTED WEATHER BRAND,” SAID MYERS. “THE MORE ACCURATE OUR FORECASTS ARE, THE MORE VALUE WE CAN OFFER TO MEDIA PARTNERS AND OUR CUSTOMERS.”
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