P7.2 Fatalities associated with non-convective high wind events in the United States

Wednesday, 8 November 2006
Pre-Convene Space (Adam's Mark Hotel)
Alan W. Black, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; and W. S. Ashley

Many casualties in the United States can be attributed to high wind each year. While tornadoes continue to cause the most fatalities per year, non-convective high winds (defined as phenomena such as downslope winds, gradient winds, dust storms, and winds associated with mid-latitude cyclones) have the ability to kill more people than thunderstorm or hurricane wind. Using a data set of non-convective high wind fatalities, this study reveals the number of fatalities, their cause, and the spatial distribution of fatalities. These fatalities occur more frequently in vehicles or while boating. Fatalities are most common along the eastern and western U.S., with fewer fatalities being observed in the central U.S. Physical vulnerabilities are suggested as the primary cause of this fatality distribution, with social vulnerabilities as a secondary cause.
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