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Key factors influencing the severity of fluvial flood hazard from tropical cyclones

Titley, H. A., Cloke, H. L., Harrigan, S., Pappenberger, F., Prudhomme, C., Robbins, J. C., Stephens, E. M. and Zsoter, E. (2021) Key factors influencing the severity of fluvial flood hazard from tropical cyclones. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 22 (7). pp. 1801-1817. ISSN 1525-7541

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-20-0250.1


Knowledge of the key drivers of the severity of river flooding from tropical cyclones (TCs) is vital for emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction activities. This global study examines landfalling TCs in the decade from 2010 to 2019, to identify those characteristics that influence whether a storm has an increased flood hazard. The highest positive correlations are found between flood severity and the total precipitation associated with the TC. Significant negative correlations are found between flood severity and the translation speed of the TC, indicating that slower moving storms, that rain over an area for longer, tend to have higher flood severity. Larger and more intense TCs increase the likelihood of having a larger area affected by severe flooding but not its duration or magnitude, and it is found that the fluvial flood hazard can be severe in all intensity categories of TC, including those of tropical storm strength. Catchment characteristics such as antecedent soil moisture and slope also play a role in modulating flood severity, and severe flooding is more likely in cases where multiple drivers are present. The improved knowledge of the key drivers of fluvial flooding in TCs can help to inform research priorities to help with flood early warning, such as increasing the focus on translation speed in model evaluation and impact-based forecasting.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Walker Institute
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:97991
Publisher:American Meteorological Society


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