Published works

Published works

Managing Severe Weather - Progress and Opportunities Conference Paper 2014

TitleManaging Severe Weather - Progress and Opportunities Conference Paper 2014
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKepert, JD, Naughton, M, Bally, J
Conference NameBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014

Severe weather often becomes "high impact" weather when certain “tipping points” are reached. Rivers burst their banks, houses lose their roofs, and bushfires exceed suppression capacity as thresholds are crossed. The high adverse impact events tend to be rare, because society and the environment naturally tend to adapt to more frequent events of lower impact. They are often small scale, or a relatively small part of a larger system. And they are often subject to considerable forecast uncertainty.
Managing the impacts of severe weather is therefore about managing risk. The results of exceeding one of these thresholds are profoundly different to merely approaching it – our memories of Hurricane Katrina would be very different if the storm surge had not been high enough to overtop and breach the levees protecting New Orleans. Often, the differences in the meteorology between a close call and a disaster will fall within current forecast uncertainty. Balancing the costs of over-preparation and under-preparation in the presence of such uncertainty is a formidable task.

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