DÉROCHE Madeleine-Sophie

Détection à court-terme et long-terme des tempêtes hivernales à fort potentiel d'impact en Europe.

Directeurs.rices de thèses : Yiou P. & Codron F.

Date 2014-06-27
Diplôme U. Paris VI


Composition du jury

Hervé Le Treut
Rodrigo Caballero
Paolo Ruti
Philippe Arbogast
Pascal Yiou
Francis Codron
Mathieu Choux


The research carried out during the PhD deals with winter windstorms with high economic damage potential in Europe and can be divided in two parts. The first part aims at quantifying the impact of climate change on European winter windstorms and relies on datasets covering long periods of time (>30 years) either in the past or in the future. The objective of the second part is to forecast potential losses and claims associated with an upcoming extreme windstorm by using forecast data updated every six hours.
The overall objective of the first part is to provide a medium-term view of what could be the winter windstorms in Europe during the 21st century. It thus completes the short-term vision of the risk given by the Catastrophe Models used by the (re)insurers to assess the cost of the risk on their portfolio.
A new methodology has been developed to define the damage potential associated with European winter windstorms. The novelty of the methodology relies in the use of several variables capturing different spatiotemporal scales and the coupling that exists between variables during the cyclogenesis. Seeking for events sharing a similar intense signature simultaneously in the relative vorticity at 850 hPa, the mean sea level pressure and the surface wind speed lead to the detection of a small group of events. Comparing the number of events that belong to this group and their intensity in reanalysis datasets and different simulations of the future climate can provide enough information to insurance companies on the potential evolution of this hazard in a future climate. A first paper on the methodology has been accepted in the journal of Natural Hazard and Earth Science System.
The methodology has been applied to the datasets provided by Global Climate Models (GCM) participating to the CMIP5 project. The goal is to assess the ability of GCMs to reproduce winter windstorms in Europe and the potential impact of climate change on the frequency and intensity of such events. A second paper presenting the results obtained from this second study will be submitted.
The second part of the PhD focuses on the project Severe WIndstorms Forecasting Tool (SWIFT). The objective is to develop an early warning tool that detects an upcoming winter windstorms in meteorological forecasts updated every six hours and provides interested AXA entities with an alert on the upcoming windstorm as well as an estimate of the potential losses and claims.
The tool has been developed in parallel of the research project and consists in two modules. In the first module, particularly intense systems are detected in meteorological forecasts and the associated gust footprint is extracted. In the second module, wind speeds are translated into a loss and a number of claims thanks to vulnerability curves. When a system is detected, an alert is sent with the appropriate information on the event propagation and the associated loss. The tool has been running automatically for the 2013 – 2014 winter season and detected most of the events that passed over Europe.