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Catastrophe modeler updates U.S. hurricane model


AIR Worldwide Corp. has updated its hurricane model for the United States with additional data and features, the Boston-based catastrophe modeling firm said Monday.

The update features a new, fully hydrodynamic storm surge module that integrates storm parameters with high-resolution elevation data and incorporates the 30-meter National Elevation Dataset developed by the U.S. Geological Survey to simulate location-specific storm surge inundation depth and extent, according to the statement.

The new storm surge module also incorporates regional and seasonal data on tide heights and up-to-date data on levees, seawalls, floodgates, pump systems and other mitigating structures and equipment, including the most up-to-date levee information available for New Orleans, according to the statement.

“The steady growth in the value and density of property on the Gulf and East coasts of the United States is increasing the need for reliable information on storm surge risk,” Tim Doggett, assistant vice president and senior principal scientist for AIR Worldwide, said in the statement. “The highly granular estimates produced by the model can help insurers better understand the risk from hurricane wind and storm surge, supporting improved risk selection, portfolio management, and risk transfer decisions.”

The model estimates physical damage and time-element losses using damage functions that reflect local building codes and regional design practices, as well as damage survey findings, claims analyses, and engineering research.

The model updates also include the most recent North Atlantic hurricane database from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the latest reanalysis data from 1930 to 1945, and the 2011 release of the USGS National Land Cover Database, according to the statement.

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