14A.1 Spatiotemporal Patterns and Recurrence Intervals of Tropical Cyclone Strikes for the Caribbean Islands from 1901 to 2017

Thursday, 10 January 2019: 1:30 PM
North 121BC (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Derek T. Thompson, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA; and B. D. Keim

The authors analyze 117 years (1901 - 2017) of tropical cyclone (TC) strikes at 37 coastal locations throughout the Caribbean, ranging from the Bahamas to Trinidad and Tobago, with the objective of examining spatiotemporal patterns of TC activity. Interpretation of the data suggests that geographically, TC activity affects the Caribbean in a predominately north-south pattern, with Cuba and the Bahamas experiencing frequent storms while Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands Antilles rarely experience tropical activity. Despite this pattern, some islands exhibit regions where strikes are more predominant relative to other regions, such as western Cuba and southern Hispaniola. Temporally, clusters of hyperactivity are evident in the Bahamas, western Cuba, and Jamaica from 1901 – 1951 and 2001 – 2011. Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands experience clusters of hyperactivity from 1901 – 1935, 1950 – 1965, and 1990 – 2011. Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands Antilles experience very few TC strikes during the entire 117-year period. Recurrence intervals of tropical storm strength or greater TCs range from a frequency of once every 3 years in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands; 3-8 years in Jamaica, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the majority of the Lesser Antilles; and 15 – 39 years for Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands Antilles. Hurricane recurrence intervals range from once every 6 years in the Bahamas to 117+ years in the Netherlands Antilles. Major hurricane (category 3-5) recurrence intervals range from 12 years in the Bahamas to 117+ years in several locations scattered throughout the region.
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