Aug 31, 2012

Homogeneous record of Atlantic hurricane surge threat since 1923

Aslak Grinsted, John C. Moore, Svetlana Jevrejeva
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Constructs an independent record of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity on the basis of storm surge statistics from tide gauges
  • Demonstrates that the major events in our surge index record can be attributed to landfalling tropical cyclones; these events also correspond with the most economically damaging Atlantic cyclones
  • Finds that warm years in general were more active in all cyclone size ranges than cold years
  • Finds the largest cyclones are most affected by warmer conditions and we detect a statistically significant trend in the frequency of large surge events (roughly corresponding to tropical storm size) since 1923
  • Estimates that Katrina-magnitude events have been twice as frequent in warm years compared with cold years (P < 0.02)