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The National Weather Service finally got around to naming a storm system after me–Hurricane Sam, which would be the 18th such event of 2009. Let’s hope we don’t get that far down the list this year, because if we do, that means we’re having a terrible catastrophe season, huge insured losses and the end of the soft market–at least for property risks.

The weather service predicts a “near-normal” hurricane season, citing a 70 percent chance there will be at least nine named storms.

If they are wrong, however, and we get past Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter and Rose to get to Sam, we’re all in big trouble. (We’d be in an even deeper fix if we go beyond Hurricane Sammy to Teresa, Victor and Wanda!)

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