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A relationship between all Atlantic hurricanes and those that make landfall in the USA

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Coughlin, K. , Bellone, E. , Laepple, T. , Jewson, S. and Nzerem, K. (2009): A relationship between all Atlantic hurricanes and those that make landfall in the USA , Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 135 (639), pp. 371-379 . doi: 10.1002/qj.367
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The interannual prediction of the number of hurricanes to strike the US coastline is of vital interest to those who live on the coast, those who insure property along the coast and policy makers who make decisions about infrastructure and mitigation measures. Here it is shown that these predictions can be made more accurate when information about the total number of Atlantic Basin hurricanes is considered. The proportion of Atlantic hurricanes that make landfall in the USA is a measure of the relationship between landfalling and basin hurricane numbers. In order to use basin numbers to help make predictions of landfalling numbers, we must first investigate the nature of this relationship. Here we run a number of statistical tests and find that there is a significant change in the relative proportion of Atlantic hurricanes that hit the US coastline between the first and second halves of the 20th century. This difference is ostensibly due to the lack of basin observations in the earlier period. However, after 1948, the proportion of Atlantic hurricanes that hit the US coast shows no evidence of change. By assuming that the proportion is constant, we are able to then use information about the total number of hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin and make more accurate estimates of landfalling hurricane activity.

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