Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2821-2833, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
25 Oct 2011
High-resolution refinement of a storm loss model and estimation of return periods of loss-intensive storms over Germany
M. G. Donat1,3, T. Pardowitz1, G. C. Leckebusch1,4, U. Ulbrich1, and O. Burghoff2 1Institute of Meteorology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
2Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V., German Insurance Association, Berlin, Germany
3Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
4School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Abstract. A refined model for the calculation of storm losses is presented, making use of high-resolution insurance loss records for Germany and allowing loss estimates on a spatial level of administrative districts and for single storm events. Storm losses are calculated on the basis of wind speeds from both ERA-Interim and NCEP reanalyses. The loss model reproduces the spatial distribution of observed losses well by taking specific regional loss characteristics into account. This also permits high-accuracy estimates of total cumulated losses, though slightly underestimating the country-wide loss sums for storm "Kyrill", the most severe event in the insurance loss records from 1997 to 2007. A larger deviation, which is assigned to the relatively coarse resolution of the NCEP reanalysis, is only found for one specific rather small-scale event, not adequately captured by this dataset.

The loss model is subsequently applied to the complete reanalysis period to extend the storm event catalogue to cover years when no systematic insurance records are available. This allows the consideration of loss-intensive storm events back to 1948, enlarging the event catalogue to cover the recent 60+ years, and to investigate the statistical characteristics of severe storm loss events in Germany based on a larger sample than provided by the insurance records only. Extreme value analysis is applied to the loss data to estimate the return periods of loss-intensive storms, yielding a return period for storm "Kyrill", for example, of approximately 15 to 21 years.

Citation: Donat, M. G., Pardowitz, T., Leckebusch, G. C., Ulbrich, U., and Burghoff, O.: High-resolution refinement of a storm loss model and estimation of return periods of loss-intensive storms over Germany, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2821-2833, doi:10.5194/nhess-11-2821-2011, 2011.
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