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2020 Wildfires

October 20, 2020 | 8:00 AM CT

There are several wildfires continuing to burn in Colorado. The most notable is the largest fire in state history, the Cameron Peak Fire at 204,000 acres. It is west of Fort Collins and has been burning since August 13th, surpassing the 2020 Pine Gulch Fire (139,000 acres) to become the largest in state history. Seven of the 10 largest fires in Colorado history have occurred since 2011, with the other three in the top 10 list having occurred between 2002 and 2010. The Cameron Peak Fire continues to burn and is currently at 51% containment. 

The 9,100 acre Calwood Fire began burning last Saturday and is currently northwest of Boulder. It has destroyed a number of homes and is about 17% contained. Approximately 3,000 people were evacuated in and around the town of Jamestown as the fire continues to burn, and initial reports list 26 homes as destroyed with more likely. The Calwood Fire is the largest fire in the history of Boulder County.

Two fires in Utah that began on Saturday also continue to expand. The Fire Canyon Fire near Echo, Utah, is approximately 1,500 acres and 35% contained, while the Range Fire north of Provo is at 3,500 acres and 10% containment.

The U.S. Drought Monitor identifies 4 levels of drought: Moderate, Severe, Extreme and Exceptional, ranging from lowest to highest. As of the October 15 Drought Monitor map, the entire state of Colorado is assigned some level of drought ranging between Moderate and Exceptional, with more than half the state listed as Extreme or higher. Utah is also entirely identified as having some level of drought, with approximately 90% of the state listed as having either Extreme or Exceptional drought conditions. 

In addition to dry conditions, gusty winds are pushing the still-burning fires and in some cases limiting air support. Recent wind gusts in Colorado have approached 60 miles per hour. 

Drought conditions dry the vegetation in the state and make the fuels more susceptible to fire. The extreme winds make subduing these fires more difficult as they increase the speed and intensity at which these fires burn, limit the ability of aircraft to aid in suppressing the fires, and make the fire more erratic and dangerous.

Hurricane Delta

October 13, 2020 | 8:00AM ET

CoreLogic Estimates $0.7 Billion to $1.2 Billion in U.S. Onshore Losses From Hurricane Delta Wind and Storm Surge

According to this new CoreLogic Hurricane Delta data analysis, insured wind losses for residential and commercial properties in Louisiana and Texas are estimated to be between $0.5 billion and $0.9 billion. Insured storm surge losses are estimated to be an additional $0.2 billion to $0.3 billion. Damage to offshore structures ranges from $0.8 billion to $1.5 billion.

Hurricane Delta made landfall near Creole, Louisiana, on Friday, October 9, as a mid-Category 2 storm with a maximum sustained surface wind speed of 100 miles per hour, making Delta the second hurricane in six weeks to make landfall along the southwestern coast of Louisiana. As Hurricane Delta approached the western Louisiana coast, the storm encountered an environment of high wind shear and weakened just before landfall in Cameron Parish, about 15 miles east of where Hurricane Laura devastated communities in late August.

Windstorm Alex

October 6, 2020 | 7:03PM BST

The European Windstorm Season Gets Underway With A Bang

On 30 September, the 2020-21 European Windstorm season saw its first named storm, Alex.  It underwent explosive cyclogenesis, or more colloquially known as a “weather bomb,” with a drop in central pressure of nearly 40mb in 12 hours, impacting the region of Brittany in North-West France on 1 and 2 October.

A record wind speed observed on the Atlantic island of Belle- Île (west of mainland France) of 186km/h suggests that Alex may have contained a particularly hazardous feature, sometimes found within extra-tropical cyclones, known as a Sting Jet. This is a localised, cold airstream which rapidly descends from the mid-troposphere, bringing potentially very damaging winds to the surface. Owing to its relatively small footprint, a sting jet is as difficult to identify as it is to predict the possible damage on the ground.

With the exception of the record wind speed observation, the coastal weather stations in Brittany recorded windspeeds much more consistent with a high-frequency winter storm. On the ground there will be some localised damage from Alex.

As the system weakened and slowed, it advected, or transferred, significant amounts of moist air from over the Mediterranean, causing significant localised flash flooding in southeast France and northwest Italy. CoreLogic continues to monitor the impact from this event.

Hurricane Teddy

September 22, 2020 | 1:39PM CT

Hurricane Teddy is expected to reach Atlantic Canada as a post-tropical storm on Wednesday morning and will most likely have decreased wind speeds compared to Hurricane Dorian in 2019. 

Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island should expect surge levels in addition to flash flooding due to intense rainfall. Current estimates are between 3-5 meters of surge for Prince Edward Island and 3-9 meters for Nova Scotia.  Parts of Newfound and Labrador are also expected to receive rainfall of 50mm-100mm.

CoreLogic estimated the flood risk in different parts of Nova Scotia and Prince. The red in the maps below reflect extreme risk, orange is very high risk, yellow is high risk, green is moderate risk and blue is low risk.

Flood Risk in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Flood Risk in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Flood Risk in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Flood Risk in Sydney, Nova Scotia Flood Risk in Sydney, Nova Scotia

Overall, we should less impact from wind gusts but rainfall and surge are expected to cause flooding through Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador over the next few days.

CoreLogic will provide updates on the situation as it unfolds.

Tropical Storm Beta

September 21 | 2:51 PM CT

Tropical Storm Beta, the 21st named storm of the 2020 season, is already one month ahead of the pace set by the record 2005 season. Beta is forecasted to come ashore along the central Texas coast Monday (Sept 21st) as a Tropical Storm, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

Taking a similar path to Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Beta is expect to meander along the Texas for the next few days, bringing heavy rain from the central to northeastern Texas coast. Unlike Harvey, extreme rainfall is expected to only be localized, due to a limited precipitation shield and the presence of dry air.

Hurricane Beta

As a Tropical Storm, Beta is not expected to post a storm surge threat, nor cause widespread wind damage. However, a low tornado threat will be present while Beta is in the area.

Hurricane Sally

September 16, 2020 | 1:39PM CT

Overnight, Hurricane Sally strengthened to a high-end Category 2 storm, making landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama with maximum sustained winds of 105mph. Interestingly, Sally made landfall in almost the exact same spot and on the same day, September 16, as Hurricane Ivan in 2004.


Sally was a moderate sized storm with hurricane-force winds extending up to 40 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extending as far out as 125 miles.

Storm Surge

Hurricane Sally trended slightly eastward, producing strong storm surge in Alabama and the western end of the Florida panhandle. Early reports indicate approximately five feet of storm surge flooding in the Pensacola area. The late shift eastward made Pensacola more vulnerable to surge than originally expected 24 hours prior to landfall.

In addition, the relatively slow forward movement of the storm enabled it to push more surge water onto land. This exacerbated the flood potential by combining with the rainfall it is producing. With the hurricane slowly approaching the coast, the rainfall sourced flooding onshore is often prevented from flowing downstream to the Gulf by the surge water that is being pushed ahead of the storm and upstream. The combined effect is increased flood levels inland.

Figure 1
72-Hour MRMS Gauge-Corrected Prescription Analysis
Source: CoreLogic Inc.
© 2020 CoreLogic,Inc., All rights reserved.


Extreme rainfall in excess of 30 inches has been reported along the Gulf Coast, resulting in widespread catastrophic flash flooding with multiple streams having already risen over 15 feet. Flooding is excepted to spread further inland as Sally slowly makes its way through southern Alabama and Georgia.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Sally has weakened and was downgraded to a Tropical Storm. CoreLogic will continue to provide updates as the situation unfolds.

The 2020 Storm Surge Report is Here

Over 7.4 million homes are at risk of storm surge. When that is compounded by economic uncertainty due to the pandemic, how will mortgage delinquencies be affected? How will natural catastrophe response and recovery change?

“Storm surge has historically been the deadliest and most destructive hazard we deal with. Now, potentially compounded by the pandemic, it has never been more important to pay attention to storm warnings and prepare for the possibility of hurricanes making landfall this year along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.” -Dr. Thomas Jeffery, Principal, Science and Analytics at CoreLogic

Read the Storm Surge Report
Storm Surge

Our Tools & Methodology

According to a 2018 study by Swiss Re, insurance has only covered 30% of the $4 trillion in a global property damage resulting from extreme natural disaster events in the past 40 years.*

In an increasingly risky world, it’s paramount to be proactive in managing your risk and exposure. Our Ph.D.-level scientists develop granular models to understand the impact Mother Nature has on our world.

* Holzheu, T., & Turner, G. (2018, March 16). Closing the natural catastrophe protection gap. Retrieved September 21, 2018.

Hazard Models

Earthquake: M7.7 Near Cuba

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred on January 28 at 2:10 PM EST, situated about 75 miles northwest of Jamaica, approximately 80 miles southwest of Cuba’s Bayamo state.

Strong ground motions have been reported in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The earthquake occurred along the northern margins of the Caribbean seismic plate and is the most powerful earthquake in this region for at least 100 years. There have been four more magnitude 6.6+ earthquakes in the region in the last 100 years.

The initial reports of isolated pockets of severe ground motion in Jamaica produce an expectation of pockets of damage to older structures or structures with inadequate seismic design. Ground motions in the capital city of Kingston, Jamaica are reported to be from weak to light. CoreLogic continues to monitor this earthquake to support their response and recovery.

Wildfire: California Wildfires

Starting on October 10, 2019, a spate of wildfires occurred across northern and southern California, including the Saddleridge Fire, Kincade Fire, Getty Fire, Tick Fire, Maria Fire, Hillside Fire, Easy Fire, and many more.

CoreLogic provided risk analysis over the homes inside the Kincade, Tick, and Getty Fires as the perimeters become available.

California Fires October 2019

Severe Convective: Southeast Tornado Outbreak

On April 12 and 13, 2020, severe weather swept through the Southeast U.S. A total of 86 tornadoes tore through the region, leading to the loss of at least 34 lives. Over the two-day storm period, CoreLogic® Tornado Verification Technology monitored the tornadoes and estimated structural impacts and reconstruction costs.

Learn More

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Wildfire Recovery

The Tubbs Fire in 2017 and Camp Fire in 2018 demolished the cities of Santa Rosa and Paradise. The Camp Fire, in particular, was the single most expensive disaster for insurers worldwide that year, ultimately setting the stage for 2018 to become the fourth-costliest year for insurance companies since 1980.

Many years later, and the story of recovery for these devastated towns is still unfolding. CoreLogic is tracking the latest data on the reconstruction effort.

Get the Latest Stats

Understanding Risk in a Decade of Natural Catastrophes

July 6, 2020
Maiclaire Bolton Smith
Sr. Leader of Research & Content

In the past 10 years, the U.S. has seen 121 events produce damage in excess of $1 billion. Globally, this escalates with many more events around the world. From major hurricanes and floods, to annual severe weather, devastating wildfires, and even the rarer occurring earthquakes and volcanoes, in the past decade, the U.S. has seen them all.

In the latter half of the decade, the trend of catastrophic losses continued to rise with events like Hurricane Harvey (2017) and the California wildfires (2017 and 2018) among the most costly and disruptive.

Now more than ever, insurers need real-time data to understand risk on a granular level and best serve their policyholders.



California Rebuilds, A CoreLogic Update

California Rebuilds, A CoreLogic Update

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CoreLogic Housing Policy Outlook: Hurricane Florence

CoreLogic Housing Policy Outlook: Hurricane Florence

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Santa Rosa Wildfire: Starting With Wind

Santa Rosa Wildfire: Starting With Wind

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Aftermath From The Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslides in California

Aftermath From The Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslides in California

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The fire, which originated in the town of Paradise in Butte County, cost $16.5 billion in damages (with only $4 billion insured) and destroyed 18,804 structures, making it the single most-expensive natural disaster for insurers worldwide that year.

After the October 2017 Tubbs Fire in Northern California, the Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties suffered devastating losses. Santa Rosa in Sonoma County was the hardest hit, with $1.2 billion of damage[1] and 3,043 housing units destroyed.

Although advancements in weather forensics have made it possible to anticipate the region and severity of certain catastrophic events, it is harder to predict how demand surge may or may not affect recovery efforts following a natural disaster of any kind. 

Earthquakes have the potential to cause major destruction and disruption to society. Damage caused by earthquakes can be catastrophic and can have both a humanitarian and financial impact. So when an earthquake occurs, having a prompt understanding of potential catastrophic consequences is critical for risk managers, who rely on this information to make informed decisions about how to manage the impact of disastrous events. With services like the USGS Earthquake Notification Service (ENS) providing readily available, automated earthquake notifications, obtaining information about earthquake activity around the world is now easier than ever.

Each year, homeowners around the country endure catastrophic events such as floods, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. These events can be highly destructive to homes, especially when they occur suddenly. In the aftermath of a disaster, appraisers and assessors often find themselves in a number of situations that make it challenging to form an opinion of value. Understanding these challenges is an important step to helping mitigate risk.

According to a recent CoreLogic Natural Hazard Press Release, the 2018 Camp and Woolsey Wildfires in California caused devastating losses between $15 and $19 billion. Because a home is most often a complete loss when it comes to wildfires, the destruction caused by these catastrophic events has been a personal and financial tragedy for many families. These and other natural hazards have forced Insurance Carriers to reevaluate the need for more accurate insurance coverage to better ensure their policyholders can be made whole again if a natural disaster should destroy their property.

Tom Jeffery and Guy Kopperud chat with Insurance Journal about what we can explain and how we can learn from the wildfires of 2017. 

Most people understand that the goal of a homeowner’s policy is to restore a home and possessions to the way they were should a catastrophic event, such as a hurricane, wreak havoc. If the building and labor cost database is not property monitored, and initial coverage and claims estimate is too low, the homeowner may not be able to fully cover the losses incurred—and that’s not a message anyone experiencing loss should hear.

Once the wind, rain and flood waters have receded it’s time to pick up the pieces and begin the process of repairing your home. One of the most vulnerable parts of your home in any weather event is the roof. Here’s 5 tips on how to repair your roof.

Catastrophes caused tremendous damage to properties causing people to lose their homes, schools and businesses. To understand the impact of natural catastrophes on mortgage delinquency, CoreLogic researched loan payment performance in Texas, after Hurricane Harvey.

Most people understand that the goal of a homeowner’ policy is to restore a home and possessions to the way they were should a natural or not-so natural disaster strike. If the coverage is too low, the homeowner may not have enough to fully cover the losses incurred.

Your Go-To for Catastrophe Insights

The past few years have been catastrophic, from blazing wildfires to powerful hurricanes battering the coasts. We know clarity is important amidst the chaos, so we want to make sure you’re finding all the information you need to be up to date in one place.

Here at Hazard HQ™ you’ll find press releases, explanations of how our data works, commentary about what kind of damage we foresee, and critical thinking on what it takes to be more resilient in the face of natural hazards—be it a hurricane, volcano, earthquake, or beyond.

We know that data can get confusing, especially as we begin to put out estimates for reconstruction cost and damage in response to any hazard event. To help shed some light on a chaotic time, we wanted to help answer some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

CoreLogic uses its RCV methodology which estimates the cost to rebuild the home in the event of a total loss and is not to be confused with property market values or new construction cost estimation. Reconstruction cost estimates more accurately reflect the actual cost of damage or destruction of residential buildings that would occur from hurricane-driven storm surge, since they include the cost of materials, equipment and labor needed to rebuild. These estimates also factor in geographical pricing differences (although actual land values are not included in the estimates).

Damage is the overall sum of money lost, both insured and uninsured. 

Loss, otherwise known as gross loss or ground-up damage, is the insured portion of the damage sum. It is the portion that insurance companies pay out.

At CoreLogic, we break down the risk of damage cumulatively. If any hurricane hits, no matter the Category*, it will cause storm surge in the Extreme risk areas. These are homes that typically are closest to the coast and lowest in elevation, thus susceptible to every type of hurricane from Categories 1 to 5. Therefore, their risk of impact is Extreme.

Similarly, the strongest Category 5 hurricane will cause storm surge induced flooding furthest inland. It is listed in the table as Low risk because these hurricanes are the least likely to incur damage, not because they do less damage. However, because a Category 5 hurricane will also cause damage at more vulnerable properties, the cumulative amount of homes affected and the total RCV both increase. These hurricanes affect the same areas that weaker hurricanes do and more.

*Categories are measured on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS).

In order to develop an estimate about the rainfall, we first need a footprint of where we think the rain is going to fall, and we won’t know that until the storm is conclusive about where it’s going to make landfall and where that path will take it.

The short answer is…nothing. CoreLogic is a real estate and data analytics company. We don’t make predictions, and we’re not going to be able to tell you whether to stock up on water or canned goods or sweaters or sand bags like a weather man will.

What we can provide is a realistic assessment of how a catastrophe impacts people—their homes and businesses—and what that will look like, both insured and uninsured. We are able to do this with both our highly granular catastrophe models to determine the impact upon properties and with a team of Ph.D.-level scientists who work hard to Get The Whole Story.

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Hurricane Isaias

Hurricane Isaias

  • Isaias marked the earliest “I” storm on record by 8 days.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to note that there may be added challenges related to preparation, evacuation, immediate response and aftermath.

Hurricane Hanna

Hurricane Hanna

  • Isaias marked the earliest “I” storm on record by 8 days.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to note that there may be added challenges related to preparation, evacuation, immediate response and aftermath.

Tennessee Tornadoes

Severe Convective:
Tennessee Tornadoes

  • A line of severe thunderstorms that stretched across the U.S. Southeast produced deadly tornadoes in Nashville, Tennessee around 2 AM local time on March 3, 2020.

Severe Convective: Dallas Tornado

Severe Convective:
Dallas Tornado 2019

May Severe Weather

May Severe Weather 2019

Contact your account executive or email for the link to view the webinar.

Insurance Solutions

Structural Risk and Valuations

Rather than rely on a standard industry percentage, get detailed intelligence on the structural risk and value of properties in your portfolio to ensure that your clients are not over or under-insured.

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Natural Hazard and Catastrophe

Assess your market position by accessing reports and data that give you a complete view of the risk to your portfolio.

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Roof Condition Solutions

CoreLogic offers tools to help you assess the roof conditions of prospective clients from your desktop.

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Weather Verification Services

Understand the impact of severe weather to empower you to make critical business decisions about your response.

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