The aim of this panel is to explore the statistical efforts to describe volatile environmental conditions over large areas, and to assess the impact of these conditions on the loss of life and economic value. The panel will bring together members of the North American and Australian teams developing the Actuaries Climate Index (ACI) and the Actuaries Climate Risk Index (ACRI) for North America, and the Australian Actuaries Climate Index (AACI) for Australia to present their work. Following presentations of the work, two discussants, both accomplished environmental statisticians and modelers. will provide context for discussion. In the presentations, the discussants’ comments, and the discussion which follows, several questions will be central: in what ways might the present indices be useful, and in what ways not? moving forward, what changes in data, metrics, and analytical techniques are most promising? and finally, is it possible to define reasonable expectations for the descriptive and/or predictive accuracy of efforts to characterize extreme weather and its consequences for countries and/or large regions?