Probability Distributions for Hurricane Effects

by Larry R. Russell, (A.M.ASCE), Sr. Engr.; Fluor Ocean Services, Inc., Houston, TX,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 1, Pg. 139-154

Document Type: Journal Paper


This investigation treats indirect development of probability functions for hurricane effects for specified time intervals. Methods outlined here provide a way of obtaining magnitude-recurrence interval relationships for hurricane effects. Methods are suitable for sites where insufficient data does not permit getting effect magnitude-recurrence interval information directly from historic records. A stochastic model for hurricane occurrences around sites is developed; a periodic Poisson distribution best described hurricanes on the Texas Coast. Data imply that Texas hurricanes tend to follow a cyclic trend with a period of about 33 yr. A hurricane occurrence model is then combined with distribution for hurricane wind, given a hurricane occurrence. If hurricane occurrences follow a periodic Poisson law, then exceedances of given magnitudes of hurricane effects are also shown to obey a periodic Poisson law.

Subject Headings: Hurricanes and typhoons | Probability | Probability distribution | Historic sites | Permits | Stochastic processes | Coastal environment | Wind engineering | Texas | United States

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