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Hurricane wind risk in Louisiana

Abstract

A statistical procedure for estimating the risk of strong winds from hurricanes, known as the Hurricane Risk Calculator, is demonstrated and applied to several major cities in Louisiana. The procedure provides an estimate of wind risk over different length periods and can be applied to any location experiencing this hazard. Results show that an area 100 km around the city of New Orleans can expect to see hurricane winds blowing at 49 ms−1 (44.3–53.7) [90 % confidence interval (CI)] or stronger, on average, once every 20 years. In comparison, for the same time period, the capital city of Baton Rouge and the surrounding area can expect to see hurricane winds of 43 ms−1 (38.2–47.8) (90 % CI) or stronger. Hurricane track direction is also analyzed at the cities of interest. For Morgan City, Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Alexandria, tropical cyclones with winds at least 18 ms−1 travel from the southeast to northwest. New Orleans and Baton Rouge tropical cyclones have a greater tendency to turn toward the east while within 100 km of the city, historically giving them a southwesterly approach. Tropical cyclones within 350 km off the south-central Louisiana coast occur most often in September, and the most extreme of these events are becoming stronger through time as shown with quantile regression.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank James Elsner and Thomas Jagger for the use of their R code.

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Correspondence to Jill C. Trepanier.

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Trepanier, J.C., Scheitlin, K.N. Hurricane wind risk in Louisiana. Nat Hazards 70, 1181–1195 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-013-0869-6

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Keywords

  • Hurricane
  • Risk
  • Extreme value
  • Hurricane tracks