HRD Seminar – Dr. Chris Hennon and Will Clark, University of North Carolina at Asheville – 11 October 2016

Dr. Hennon presented a seminar on “Toward a Global Homogeneous Tropical Cyclone Data Record”.


Any analysis of global tropical cyclone (TC) activity must account for the myriad of interagency differences in determining maximum wind speed.  Although the use of the Dvorak technique is the dominating factor in the vast majority of all agency estimates, recent work has shown that significant differences at the base “Data-T” and “Current Intensity” levels exist, rendering attempts to homogenize interagency intensities unsatisfactory.  In this presentation, I will discuss the development of a global TC data record derived from homogenous infrared satellite imagery.  By applying a consistent, Dvorak-like algorithm to crowd sourced classifications, I will show that in most cases a reasonable measure of TC intensity can be obtained.  Further refinements will lead to a 32-year homogeneous record of global TC intensity that may be useful for reanalysis or climate studies.

Mr. Clark presented a seminar on “Real Time Analysis of Economic Loss Due To Hurricane Surface Winds and Storm Surge”.


A real-time potential economic loss model from tropical cyclones will be presented.  By integrating geographic information systems (GIS), Python, and Structured Query Language (SQL) tools with National Hurricane Center (NHC) track, wind and storm surge forecast products, a wind and storm surge hazard assessment of potential economic loss at the county and even parcel level can be generated and updated as new information arrives.  A 2-dimensional surface wind representation of a tropical cyclone at each forecast time is created using parametric wind profiles.  For storm surge assessment, data are obtained from the P-SURGE product at NHC.  The intersection of these physical parameters with summary statistics of property level data produces a real time impact assessment.  This type of information can be used by insurance companies as well as resilience planning efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.

A recording of both presentations is available on the anonymous ftp site: