The company of the global professional service provider Global Catastrophe Recap report for January 2019 revealed that in the month of January a total of 45 deaths were caused by winter storms.
Five major winter events contributed to the total estimated economic loss of $ 1 billion for the period, noted Aon. Of the five events, the so-called "Polar Vortex" that struck much of the eastern US from January 29-31 was the most destructive, killing at least 22 people and an estimated total economic and assured loss within hundreds of millions.
"Although there was a lot of attention for several winter storms and extreme cold through the Polar Vortex in the United States, it offered the opportunity to remind that the weather is local," says analyst Michal Lörinc, analyst of Aon Impact Forecasting.
Lörinc cites Australia as a polarizing example; the country saw a record-breaking heat last month, with temperatures so high that January 2019 was declared the hottest month ever.
"Shifts in the behavior of the jetstream and other synoptic functions can lead to more unusual and extreme weather phenomena," he explained.
Elsewhere, in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil, excessive rainfall caused significant damage to the agricultural sector of South American countries. Their property and infrastructure were also affected by the floods. The conditions were so severe that the Confederation of Rural Associations of Argentina established the agricultural damage caused by flooding in their region around $ 2.3 billion.
Other catastrophic events that Aon pointed to include:
- 80 deaths from seasonal floods in the South Sulawesi in Indonesia
- The first F4 tornado since 1940 hit near Havana, Cuba
- Unusually heavy snowfall hit Central Europe on 1-14 January, causing considerable damage and fatal avalanches.
- Heavy rainfall in the northwest of Spain on 23-24 January resulted in flooding and landslides.
- Heavy rainfall in the north and west of Saudi Arabia caused noticeable flooding