The south east of Queensland and north east of NSW is one of the fastest growing regions of Australia. Although known to be in a tropical cyclone prone region there have been no major impacts of Category 2 or higher tropical cyclones in this region in the past couple of decades. Â Tropical cyclone risk analyses for current and future climate scenarios typically start with the interpretation of the historical record. This study aims to pool expert opinion to reduce the uncertainties in understanding these historical impacts and enable them to be applied in the current environment.
The reanalysis of major tropical cyclones to have affected this region as far back as the 1880â€™s is being coordinated by Australia's largest general insurer, IAG. The technique utilises the impact information as recorded through photographs, media, ships logs and official sources to derive estimates of key tropical cyclone characteristics such as track position, central pressure and radius to maximum and storm force winds. This information is interpreted by a mixed team of meteorologists and wind engineers from IAG, formerly from the Bureau of Meteorology and specialists from the C3WE at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
The standard Holland and Kepert / Wang tropical cyclone wind profile models will be run for selected historical tropical cyclones, including the Coolangatta Cyclone of 1954 and the Gold Coast Cyclone of 1928, to produce wind footprints for these cyclones. If considered feasible, the NCAR hybrid tropical cyclone model, HWCM, could be run for these cases in phase 2 of the project. These wind footprints are important research data for understanding community impacts by establishing the relationships between property vulnerability and tropical cyclone intensity.