Articles | Volume 12, issue 12
Research article
21 Dec 2012
Research article |  | 21 Dec 2012

Wind storm loss estimations in the Canton of Vaud (Western Switzerland)

C. Etienne and M. Beniston

Abstract. A storm loss model that was first developed for Germany is applied to the much smaller geographic area of the canton of Vaud, in Western Switzerland. 24 major wind storms that struck the region during the period 1990–2010 are analysed, and outputs are compared to loss observations provided by an insurance company. Model inputs include population data and daily maximum wind speeds from weather stations. These measured wind speeds are regionalised in the canton of Vaud following different methods, using either basic interpolation techniques from Geographic Information Systems (GIS), or by using an existing extreme wind speed map of Switzerland whose values are used as thresholds. A third method considers the wind power, integrating wind speeds temporally over storm duration to calculate losses. Outputs show that the model leads to similar results for all methods, with Pearson's correlation and Spearman's rank coefficients of roughly 0.7. Bootstrap techniques are applied to test the model's robustness. Impacts of population growth and possible changes in storminess under conditions of climate change shifts are also examined for this region, emphasizing high shifts in economic losses related to small increases of input wind speeds.