Session 3A.4 Caribbean/Central American hurricane landfall probabilities

Monday, 10 May 2010: 2:00 PM
Arizona Ballroom 6 (JW MArriott Starr Pass Resort)
Philip J. Klotzbach, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Presentation PDF (86.1 kB)

The United States Hurricane Landfall Probability Website ( was created by Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project and the GeoGraphics Lab in Bridgewater State College in 2004. It has received nearly one million hits since its inception. Recently, the website has been expanded to include climatological and current-year probabilities for the Caribbean and Central America. These probabilities are calculated as follows:

1) All storms that tracked within 50 and 100 miles of each island in the Caribbean and each landmass in Central America were selected using the Atlantic HURDAT database over the period from 1851-2007 and the GIS software ArcMap.

2) The maximum intensity that each storm achieved within 50 and 100 miles of island or landmass was assigned as its "landfall" intensity.

3) The number of storms was then fit to a Poisson distribution, taking into account that more than one storm can make landfall in an individual year.

4) Current-year probabilities are calculated by taking these historical probabilities and adjusting them by the latest forecast of Net Tropical Cyclone activity by the Tropical Meteorology Project.

After displaying how these probabilities are calculated, relationships between Caribbean and Central American landfall and various large-scale indices such as the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) and El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) will be discussed.

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