As more people and societal infrastructure concentrate along coastal areas, the United States are becoming more vulnerable to the impact of tropical cyclones. Almost 36 million people in the US live in hurricane zones. Furthermore, it is not surprising that hurricanes are the costliest natural disasters if we look into the changes in the population and the national wealth density or revenue. The states most affected by the cost of hurricanes (e.g. Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Maryland) represent the higher wealth segment of the American society.
A better understanding of both hurricane frequencies and intensities as they vary from year to year and their relation to changes in damages is of great interest to scientists, public and private decision makers and the general public. Pielke and Landsea (1998) concluded in their study of normalized hurricane damages over the past seventy years that it is only a matter of time before the nation experiences a $50 billion or greater storm, with multibillion-dollar losses becoming increasingly frequent.
The National Oceanographic Partnership Program is collaborative project between 15 research institutions, governmental institutions and private companies to improve the hurricane forecast and to push forward our understanding of these natural phenomena.