The impact of extra-tropical transitioning on storm surge and waves in catastrophe risk modelling

application to the Japanese coastline

Nicolas Bruneau*, Juergen Grieser, Thomas Loridan, Enrica Bellone, Shree Khare

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Catastrophe risk models are used to assess and manage the economic and societal impacts of natural perils such as tropical cyclones. Large ensembles of event simulations are required to generate useful model output. For example, to estimate the risk due to wind-driven storm surge and waves in tropical cyclone risk models, computationally efficient parametric representations of the wind forcing are required to enable the generation of large ensembles. This paper presents new results on the impact of including explicit representations of extra-tropical transitioning in parametric wind models used to force storm surge and wave simulations in a catastrophe risk modelling context. Extra-tropical transitioning is particularly important in modelling risk on the Japanese coastline, as roughly 40 % of typhoons hitting the Japanese mainland are transitioning before landfall. Using both a historical and idealized track set, we compare maximum storm surge and wave footprints along the Japanese coastline for models that include, and do not include, explicit representations of extra-tropical transitioning. We find that the inclusion of extra-tropical transitioning leads to lower storm surge (10–20 %) and waves (5–15 %) on the southern Japanese coast, with significantly higher storm surge and waves along the northern coast (25–50 %). The results of this paper demonstrate that useful risk assessment of coastal flood risk in Japan must consider the extra-tropical transitioning process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-667
Number of pages19
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • tropical cyclone
  • typhoon
  • transitioning
  • storm surge
  • waves
  • catastrophe modelling
  • Japan

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