AIR Analyzes TS Nuri

August 25, 2008

According to catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide, Typhoon Nuri had weakened into a tropical storms when it came ashore over Hong Kong with maximum sustained winds of near 90 km/h (55 mph).

AIR indicated Nuri had been expected to strengthen, as it approached land; to the point that the “Hong Kong Observatory had issued the strongest storm warning (Level 9) in five years on Friday.”

However, Dr. Peter Sousounis, senior research scientist at AIR Worldwide, explained: “As it entered a region of cooler ocean temperatures and strong northeasterly wind shear, Nuri weakened before passing almost directly over the city, bringing little more than gusty winds and heavy rain. Damage reports have been restricted to strewn debris, downed trees and, in isolated cases, toppled scaffolding. AIR does not expect any significant insured losses in Hong Kong from this event.”

AIR Added: “The next stop for Nuri is China’s Guangdong province where, on Thursday, provincial officials recalled more than 40 thousand vessels to harbors and evacuated nearly a quarter of a million people. Winds will continue to diminish as the storm moves inland and Nuri is expected to become a tropical depression within 24 hours. Still, the big question that remains is how much rainfall Nuri will dump on mainland China, where precipitation-induced flood damage often outstrips wind damage from tropical cyclones.”

Dr. Sousounis noted: “With two more months to go in the most active part of the Northwest Pacific typhoon season, Nuri is the twelfth named tropical cyclone so far this year—and the sixth to hit China. Four of the six have made landfall in Guangdong Province, in southern China.

“In a typical year, there are 29 named storms, ten of which hit China, and six of which make landfall in Guangdong. The relatively high frequency of landfalls this year is related in part to persistent La Niña conditions. The accompanying strong northeasterly winds have been responsible for steering storms very far west before they recurve—if they do so at all.”

Source: AIR Worldwide –

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