‘Safe start’ to tornado season comes to an end

On April 24, E&E Publishing's ClimateWire was touting the most "promising start to a tornado season since World War I," noting that no Americans had lost their lives to a tornado yet this year. However, as is the case every year, the "safe start" didn't last.

Dozens of people were killed in a tornado outbreak that occurred during the last week of April. This development is consistent with the typical seasonal pattern, with activity picking up during late April and May, "typically the busiest time of year for tornadoes," according to ClimateWire.

AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski reported that the storm system put more than 70 million people at risk of experiencing severe weather. In addition to tornadoes, property owners had to contend with heavy rainfall, lightning and hail. Citing figures from the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, the AP reported that at least 25 tornadoes hit the southern states on March 28.

AccuWeather noted that another storm system had hit North Carolina a week earlier, which Governor Pat McCrory said had destroyed at least 325 homes and other buildings, including four historic structures. Accurately calculating replacement costs for vintage structures can be somewhat challenging because complete restoration may require the purchase of less common and more expensive building materials.

Although these tornadoes touched down in sparsely populated rural areas, many lives and structures were affected. Whether it's during the spring as the risk of severe weather escalates or year-round, consistent accurate valuations for insured residential, commercial and farm & ranch structures are an important part of managing risk and insuring to value.