Abstract

The authors develop a technique that applies models of the radial profile of the wind in tropical cyclones to historical best-track databases of tropical cyclones, in order to estimate the wind (at 1-h intervals) experienced at any selected tropical location for any or all of the historical tropical cyclones affecting the location. When these estimated winds are condensed into a time series of the highest annual tropical cyclone-related wind, extreme value analysis can be applied in order to calculate the recurrence intervals of extreme wind speeds.

The island of Guam, located at a low latitude in the western North Pacific, was selected as a site for testing the technique. Guam has historical measurements of tropical cyclone-related wind, from which an independent estimate of the recurrence intervals of extreme wind speeds was obtained. In addition, wind traces during the passage of three major typhoons that affected Guam were used to assess the ability of the technique to reproduce an accurate hourly time series of the winds experienced during the passage of these typhoons.

For Guam, the recurrence intervals calculated from the time series of wind yielded by the authors’ technique closely match those computed from the wind measurements. The technique also reproduces a reasonable wind trace for the three major typhoons affecting Guam. Given its successful validation when applied to Guam, we believe that this technique can be used to make useful estimates of the recurrence intervals of tropical cyclone-related high wind speeds at any coastal tropical location where in situ wind measurements may he lacking, but where an historical best-track archive of tropical cyclone track and intensity exists.

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