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M. B. Lawrence, B. M. Mayfield, L. A. Avila, R. J. Pasch, and E. N. Rappaport

Abstract

The 1995 Atlantic hurricane season is described. There were eight tropical storms and 11 hurricanes for a total of 19 named tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin during 1995. This is the second-largest number of tropical storms and hurricanes in over 100 years of records. Thirteen named tropical cyclones affected land.

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R. A. Pielke Jr, C. Landsea, M. Mayfield, J. Layer, and R. Pasch

This paper reviews recent research on tropical cyclones and climate change from the perspective of event risk—the physical behavior of storms; vulnerability—the characteristics of a system that create the potential for impacts, but are independent of event risk; and also outcome risk—the integration of considerations of vulnerability with event risk to characterize an event that causes losses. The paper concludes that with no trend identified in various metrics of hurricane damage over the twentieth century, it is exceedingly unlikely that scientists will identify large changes in historical storm behavior that have significant societal implications, though scientists may identify discernible changes in storm behavior. Looking to the future, until scientists conclude a) that there will be changes to storms that are significantly larger than observed in the past, b) that such changes are correlated to measures of societal impact, and c) that the effects of such changes are significant in the context of inexorable growth in population and property at risk, then it is reasonable to conclude that the significance of any connection of human-caused climate change to hurricane impacts necessarily has been and will continue to be exceedingly small.

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D. C. Gaby, J. B. Lushine, B. M. Mayfield, S. C. Pearce, and F. E. Torres

Abstract

Estimates of the locations and maximum sustained wind speeds of all tropical and subtropical cyclones in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico have been made at Miami since 1971 using satellite techniques developed by Timchalk et al. (1965), Dvorak (1972) and Hebert and Poteat (1975). The estimates were compared with the National Hurricane Center's “best tracks” data to establish the measure of accuracy achieved. These data are not entirely independent because the best tracks themselves are determined partly from the satellite estimates; however, comparisons were made only during periods when aerial reconnaissance was also available. The average difference between satellite-derived maximum sustained wind speeds and best track maximum sustained wind speeds has consistently been ∼7 kt with standard deviation of ∼8 kt. The average difference between satellite locations and best track locations has decreased to ∼17 n mi, with standard deviation of ∼14 n mi, which is believed to be an approximate lower limit for the present state of the art and technology. These results and other information are provided for an 8-year period.

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