AIR Worldwide Releases New Typhoon Model for China

October 23, 2007

AIR Worldwide Corp. (AIR) released the AIR typhoon model for China. The new probabilistic model will help insurers, reinsurers, and brokers better manage the very high typhoon risk intrinsic to one of the world’s fastest growing insurance markets, the company said.

Leveraging AIR’s ongoing collaboration with the Shanghai Typhoon Institute (STI), the model incorporates the most up-to-date information regarding the evolution of typhoons and their associated precipitation.

“With much of China’s industry situated along the coast, typhoons have the potential to cause significant wind and flood damage,” said Dr. Xudong Liang, deputy director of the Shanghai Typhoon Institute (STI). “Our research collaboration with AIR has helped advance the understanding of the atmospheric and hydrologic characteristics of landfalling typhoons in China.”

The AIR typhoon model for China incorporates the three primary factors that contribute to the flood potential in China; the mountainous terrain along the coast, the South China Sea Monsoon, and the potential transformation from tropical to extratropical systems can all result in severe flooding hundreds of kilometers inland and several days after landfall. The model also incorporates weaker storms that are an important component of China’s typhoon climatology, since they may produce considerable precipitation. To estimate the resulting flood hazard, the model incorporates an advanced flood component that generates total precipitation for each simulated storm and then re-distributes the resulting run-off using high resolution soil type, land use/land cover and topography (slope) data.

This data is also incorporated in the model’s advanced wind component, which reflects the tendency for China’s large-scale coastal mountains to reduce wind speeds at the storm scale upon landfall. Using high resolution topographic data, the AIR model also accounts for surface friction, gustiness, and elevation and slope effects. These local effects allow the model to accurately capture the observed wind speed increases on the windward slopes of mountains, hills and escarpments, for example.

In addition to residential, commercial and industrial risks, the model covers Construction All Risks/Erection All Risks (CAR/EAR), an important line of business in the rapidly developing country. AIR has developed an objective, engineering-based approach that captures this time-dependent wind and flood vulnerability of buildings under construction, from excavation to project completion. The model also explicitly captures the effect of wind duration on structures.

“The AIR typhoon model for China embodies the most advanced scientific research on meteorology, hydrology, and the vulnerability of the Chinese building stock to wind and flood,” said Uday Virkud, P.E., senior vice president at AIR Worldwide. “When teamed with our industry-leading earthquake model for China, the AIR typhoon model for China provides companies with a comprehensive solution to assess the risks from typhoons and earthquakes in China.”

The AIR Typhoon Model for China is available immediately in CLASIC/2 and CATRADER.

Source: AIR Worldwide,


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