17 Nov 2023
 | 17 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Assessment of windstorm-damage relations in the complex terrain of Norway

Ashbin Jaison, Asgeir Sorteberg, Clio Michel, and Øyvind Breivik

Abstract. Extreme winds are by far the largest contributor to Norway’s insurance claims related to natural hazards. The predictive skills of four different damage functions are assessed for Norway at the municipality and national levels on daily and annual temporal scales using municipality level insurance data and the high-resolution Norwegian hindcast (NORA3) wind speed data for the period 1985–2020. Special attention is given to extreme damaging events and occurrence probabilities of wind speed induced damages. Because of the complex topography of Norway and the resulting high heterogeneity of the population density, the wind speed is weighted with population. The largest per-capita losses and severe damages occur most frequently in the western municipalities of Norway, more exposed to incoming storms from the North Atlantic, whilst there are seldom any large losses further inland. There is no single damage function that outperforms others. However, a good agreement between the observed and estimated losses at municipality and national levels for a combination of damage functions suggests their usability in estimating severe damages associated with windstorms. Furthermore, the damage functions are able to successfully reconstruct the geographical pattern of losses caused by extreme windstorms with a high degree of correlation. From event occurrence probabilities, the present study devises a damage classifier that exhibits some skill at distinguishing between daily damaging and non-damaging events at the municipality level. While large loss events are well captured, the skewness and zero-inflation of the loss data greatly reduces the quality of both the damage functions and the classifier for moderate and weak loss events.

Ashbin Jaison et al.

Status: open (until 29 Dec 2023)

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Ashbin Jaison et al.

Ashbin Jaison et al.


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Short summary
The present study uses the daily insurance losses and wind speeds to fit storm damage functions at the municipality level of Norway. The results show that the damage functions accurately estimate losses associated with extreme damaging events and can reconstruct their spatial patterns in the complex terrain of Norway. However, there is no single damage function that performs better than another. A newly devised damage/no-damage classifier shows some skill in predicting extreme damaging events.