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NCAR Web Site Reports Economic Costs Of Extreme Weather By State

Date:
February 9, 1999
Source:
National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Summary:
A new Web site from the National Center for Atmospheric Research provides data on the cost of damages from hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes in the United States and its territories. The Extreme Weather Sourcebook (http://www.dir.ucar.edu/esig/HP_roger/sourcebook) reports decades of information in constant 1997 dollars, simplifying comparisons among impacts and among states.

"We created the site to spur investigation, because we're all affectedby weather and climate," says political scientist Roger Pielke, Jr., wholed the NCAR team that built the site. The Sourcebook is also intendedto be a user-friendly tool for journalists on deadline.

"Users of information on weather impacts have been frustrated in thepast by data in incompatible formats," says Pielke. With the harmonizeddata on the new Web site, "people can compare apples with apples."

Visitors to the Extreme Weather Sourcebook will find the states and U.S.territories ranked in order of economic losses from hurricanes, floods,tornadoes, and all three events combined. A dollar figure for theaverage annual cost in each category for each state is also provided.Links take the reader to graphs with more detailed information on costper year for each state and each hazard. For those who want to digdeeper, there's a link to Pielke's Societal Aspects of Weather pages(http://www.dir.ucar.edu/esig/socasp).

The site allows relative comparisons of where a region or state standsin the national picture. "This is quantitative information that shouldbe used in a qualitative way," says Pielke. He also warns thathistorical costs should not be used to predict what future damages mightbe. "We're making no predictive claims. The future could be verydifferent," he says.

The data for hurricane impacts covers 1925-1995 (based on a study byPielke and Christopher Landsea of the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration); for tornadoes, 1960-1994 (based on a databasemaintained by the Storm Prediction Center); and for floods, 1983-1996(based on data published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). The floodand tornado data were updated to 1997 dollar values using the GrossNational Product Implicit Price Deflator, which is published annually bythe White House. The hurricane data were normalized to 1997 values byadjusting for growth in population and wealth, in addition to inflation.

The Sourcebook was partially funded by the U.S. Weather ResearchProgram, a federal program focused on improving predictions and theiruse by decision makers. The USWRP home page is at http://uswrp.mmm.ucar.edu/uswrp.

NCAR is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research,a consortium of more than 60 universities offering Ph.D.s in atmosphericand related sciences.

-The End-

Find this news release on the World Wide Web at http://www.ucar.edu/publications/newsreleases/1999/sourcebk.html

To receive UCAR and NCAR news releases by e-mail, telephone303-497-8601 or send name, affiliation, postal address, fax, andphone number to butterwo@ucar.edu


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "NCAR Web Site Reports Economic Costs Of Extreme Weather By State." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208171207.htm>.
National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR). (1999, February 9). NCAR Web Site Reports Economic Costs Of Extreme Weather By State. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208171207.htm
National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "NCAR Web Site Reports Economic Costs Of Extreme Weather By State." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990208171207.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

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