Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics)

Simulation and extremal analysis of hurricane events

Journal Article

In regions affected by tropical storms the damage caused by hurricane winds can be catastrophic. Consequently, accurate estimates of hurricane activity in such regions are vital. Unfortunately, the severity of events means that wind speed data are scarce and unreliable, even by standards which are usual for extreme value analysis. In contrast, records of atmospheric pressures are more complete. This suggests a two‐stage approach: the development of a model describing spatiotemporal patterns of wind field behaviour for hurricane events; then the simulation of such events, using meteorological climate models, to obtain a realization of associated wind speeds whose extremal characteristics are summarized. This is not a new idea, but we apply careful statistical modelling for each aspect of the model development and simulation, taking the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines of the USA as our study area. Moreover, we address for the first time the issue of spatial dependence in extremes of hurricane events, which we find to have substantial implications for regional risk assessments.

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