Hurricane Wind Speeds in the United States

by Martin E. Batts, (A.M.ASCE), NRC-NBS Post-doctoral Research Assoc.; Center for Building Technology, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.,
Emil Simiu, (M.ASCE), Research Structural Engr.; Center for Building Technology, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.,
Larry R. Russell, (M.ASCE), President; Larry Russell & Assoc., Inc., Houston, Tex.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 10, Pg. 2001-2016

Document Type: Journal Paper


A Monte Carlo simulation technique is used to obtain estimates of hurricane wind speeds along the Gulf and East Coasts of the United States. The paper describes the sources of data, the probabilistic models for climatological characteristics of hurricanes, and the physical models for the hurricane wind speed field used in the estimations. Estimated values of fastest-mile hurricane wind speeds at 10 m above ground in open terrain at the coastline and at 200 km inland are given for various mean recurrence intervals. The estimated hurricane wind speeds were found to be best fitted by Weibull distributions with tail length parameters γ≥4. Estimates are given of various errors inherent in the estimated values of the hurricane wind speeds. Owing to uncertainties with respect to the applicability of the physical models used in this work to locations north of Cape Hatteras, estimated hurricane wind speeds given for these locations should be viewed with caution.

Subject Headings: Physical models | Hurricanes and typhoons | Wind speed | Monte Carlo method | Gulfs | Weather forecasting | Probability | Terrain | United States | Monaco | Europe

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