Abstract

The variability and trends of storminess and extreme storm sequences on the Perth metropolitan coast are documented based on an extensive analysis of wave, wind, air pressure and water level observations for the period 1994–2008. By using the same statistical criteria for storm identification from different datasets, the storminess index across four datasets was compared. A preliminary examination of the nine most commonly used storminess indices reveals the level of interconnections among these indices. Strong correlation was found between annual total storm wave power and annual total storm wind hours. However, the correlation between annual storm indices determined by Fremantle nontidal residual water level and annual storm indices determined by Rottnest total wave heights was weak. Thus, it is not appropriate to use water level storminess index as a proxy to extend the relatively short wave records. The objective ranking of annual storminess by different data types and indices offers coastal engineers the statistical background for the selection of representative years and extreme storm sequences. No evidence of increasing (or decreasing) trends in extreme storm power was identified to validate the wave climate change hypotheses for the Perth region.

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