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RE: Hurricane paths

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If you are looking at just a general idea where the hurricane / typhoon tracks are located, reference "The Designers Guide to wind Loading of Building Structures" Building Research Establishment Report by N. J. Cook, page 122. These are maps showing prevailing storm tracks and frequency.

If you want something more definitive use HURISK available through the National Hurricane Center.

I will add my usual cautionary note about the wind velocity basis and converting to pressures. WMO uses 10 minute mean, NWS and ASCE 7 uses 3 second gust, NHC uses 1 minute mean. Know what the velocity basis is and convert wind velocities to 3 second gust to determine wind pressures per the ASCE 7-05.

Tsunami mapping studies are in their infancy. You need to look at the proximity of subduction zone faults. The Pacific rim has many subduction zone areas. Subduction earthquakes in Japan have caused tsunamis in Orgon according to paleotechtonic studies. The Carribean also has subduction zones with tsunami potential and history, but they are much fewer. Coral reefs can exacerbate tsunami effect.

Walls to mitigate tsunamis are very formidable and expensive. The Japanese have constructed some on the northeast side. The best approach is to have a seismic hazard analysis performed to include tsunami effect. You can get some maps and look at the proximity of subduction zones to see if there is an exposure. If so get the assessment to determine wave run up. And do not build in that zone.

North and East of the Turks and Caicos Islands there is a subduction zone fault. If your project is on the north or east shore, definatly get the study. If your project is on the south or west side, the risk should be greatly reduced.

Harold Sprague

From: Kevin Below <kevinbelow(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Hurricane paths
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 22:53:45 -0500

Copuld anyone point me to a source for historical hurricane path traces
for the Caribbean area ?

A client and friend is planning a project in the Turks and Caicos
Islands, and I would like to give him some info on the hurricane risk.

Also, global warming is projected by some to cause sea levels to rise by
several metres over the next 100 years.  That would put a lot of
projects in the islands under water.  I wouldn't want to be building a
beach resort in the low-lying islands if that turns out to be true.
Anyone know of a good source for this sort of info ?

Then how about tsunamis.  A 5 metre wave would swamp this resort like it
did in Phuket, unless the coral reef wall stops it before it runs up the
beach, and I suspect it would reflect or absorb it if the wall is nearly
vertical.  Does anyone know of tsunami effects on islands surrounded by
a coral reef ?  Were there any examples in December 2004 ?

Many thanks for any contributions,

Kevin Below

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