Actas de congresos
Caribbean sea tropical cyclone occurrences in the last six decades and their impacts in central america and the caribbean islands
Alfaro Martínez, Eric J.
The study of the tropical cyclones activity in the Caribbean (Figs. 1 & 2), and their historic characterization in the Central American region, is a basic element to mitigate their impact over different regions of the isthmus. As a part of the project Paleotempestology of the Caribbean Region: A Multi-proxy, Multi-site Study of the Spatial and Temporal Variability of Caribbean Hurricane Activity (IAI-CRN2-050), were defined years with high and low tropical cyclone impacts in Central America (Fig. 3), considering variables like trajectory, maximum wind velocity and the annual occurrence of cyclones in the basin, according with the HURDAT data base (http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/hurdat/). The analysis showed that tropical cyclones are more likely to occur near Central America during the August-September-October (ASO, Fig. 4a). Positive (Negative) SST (SLP) anomalies at the Tropical North Atlantic are observed for the years that showed high occurrences of tropical cyclones near Central America (Fig. 4b). Additionally, Costa Rica has a good natural disasters data base, related with events that affected specific locations and several socioeconomic sectors like agriculture, energy and transport. This data base, called DesInventar, allowed the study of disasters in Costa Rica related with tropical cyclones during the last four decades (Fig. 5a). Other disaster data bases like EM-DAT (Fig. 5c) and one produced in the project Assessment of Impacts and Adaptation Measures for the Water Resources Sector Due to Extreme Events under Climate Change Conditions in Central America (LA06, AIACC-UCR-CRRH, Fig. 5b) supported this result and extended the analysis for 1950-2007. The analysis showed a trend in the annual number of impacts related with hydrometeorology causes (Fig. 5) that can not be explained by climate trends only (Figs. 2 & 3a). That means that socioeconomic variables should be included in the analysis (Fig. 6) to explain this variability and their associated impacts.