Caribbean cyclone assessment for marine infrastructure

Providing data on tropical cyclones to support feasibility assessment and preliminary engineering design

ABPmer was commissioned to provide data on tropical cyclones to support feasibility assessment and preliminary engineering design for marine infrastructure in the Caribbean Sea.

Tropical cyclones are one of the most dangerous metocean hazards that can impact coastal and marine infrastructure. Every year, they can cause immense socioeconomic and structural damage to assets, as well as considerable loss of life. In 2005, the successive impacts of Tropical Cyclones Katrina and Rita destroyed 115 offshore platforms and damaged 52 others.

A statistical tropical cyclone assessment was carried out to ascertain information about all recorded tropical cyclones found to pass within a limiting radial distance of the site and their associated frequency of occurrence by month and by category. The analysis was carried out according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale for Tropical Cyclone Categorisation, a 1 to 5 rating based on the tropical cyclones sustained maximum wind speed.

The five most energetic historical tropical cyclones were selected for cyclonic modelling. The modelling was undertaken though the construction of a bespoke MIKE21-SW model and up to 60 tropical revolving storm events from five independent cyclone storms between 1950 and 2018 were simulated with the parametric wind model of Holland (1980) and MIKE21-SW. Time series were extracted from the key locations and subject to extremes analysis.

The outputs of the study were a summary of the recorded tropical cyclones and the frequency of occurrence (by month) of tropical cyclones by category since 1950. Extreme wind and wave criteria were provided along with the simulated wind and wave time series accompanying each modelled tropical cyclone as it passes the site of interest. All deliverables are compliant with the latest industry standards, specifically ISO 19901-01 (2015).

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