89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Sunday, 11 January 2009
Vulnerability metrics of hurricane forecast accuracy
Phoenix Convention Center
Adam D. Arnold, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA; and J. L. Evans
Poster PDF (691.7 kB)
For many years, meteorologists and emergency management officials have been attempting to tune the tropical cyclone forecast evacuation process to where the people evacuated are the ones most affected by a storm. This paper attempts to display the required number of evacuees living in coastal storm surge zones and inland substandard housing. The storms that made landfall in Florida during the 2004 and 2005 seasons at category 1 hurricane strength or above are used as case studies. A “least regrets scenario” is found by comparing the forecast path issued by the NHC approximately 36 hours prior to landfall to the actual path a storm traversed. The coastal evacuee numbers are then used to calculate a vulnerability metric for a storm's affected area. The cumulative results show that even if a forecast is nearly accurate, a slight shift in the path and intensity could result in an enormous difference in the population affected.

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