Assessing United States hurricane damage under different environmental conditions
Author(s)Maheras, Anastasia Francis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
Kerry A. Emanuel.
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Hurricane activity between 1979 and 2011 was studied to determine damage statistics under different environmental conditions. Hurricanes cause billions of dollars of damage every year in the United States, but damage locations and magnitudes vary from year to year. Seasonal hurricane forecasts predicting the strength of the upcoming hurricane season have the potential to be used by many industries and sectors to reduce and mitigate the effects of hurricanes. However, damage itself is not predicted by these forecasts. This work analyzed trends in hurricane damage due to atmospheric and oceanic conditions, and the results could be applied to and included in seasonal hurricane forecasts, thus increasing forecast applicability and value. This work used synthetic hurricane tracks generated from background climate conditions, a U.S. property portfolio, and a damage function based on wind speed to determine 1979-2011 hurricane damage. Damage was split into La Niña/El Niño and pre-/post- 1995 year sets to determine spatial and temporal trends in U.S. hurricane damage. This work concluded that different regions of the country experienced more or less hurricane damage under different environmental conditions. Knowledge of these trends can be applied to seasonal hurricane forecasts and can influence property owner, regulator, and insurer behavior across the nation.
Thesis (S.M. in Atmospheric Science)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 47-53).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.