AIR Worldwide Releases New Typhoon Model for China

BOSTON, Oct. 23, 2007 — AIR Worldwide Corporation (AIR) today announced the availability of the AIR typhoon model for China. The new probabilistic model will help insurers, reinsurers, and brokers better manage the very high typhoon risk intrinsic to one of the world’s fastest growing insurance markets.

Leveraging AIR’s ongoing collaboration with the Shanghai Typhoon Institute (STI), the model incorporates the most up-to-date information regarding the evolution of typhoons and their associated precipitation.

“With much of China’s industry situated along the coast, typhoons have the potential to cause significant wind and flood damage,” said Dr. Xudong Liang, deputy director of the Shanghai Typhoon Institute (STI).  “Our research collaboration with AIR has helped advance the understanding of the atmospheric and hydrologic characteristics of landfalling typhoons in China.”

The AIR typhoon model for China incorporates the three primary factors that contribute to the flood potential in China; the mountainous terrain along the coast, the South China Sea Monsoon, and the potential transformation from tropical to extratropical systems can all result in severe flooding hundreds of kilometers inland and several days after landfall.  The model also incorporates weaker storms that are an important component of China’s typhoon climatology, since they may produce considerable precipitation. To estimate the resulting flood hazard, the model incorporates an advanced flood component that generates total precipitation for each simulated storm and then re-distributes the resulting run-off using high resolution soil type, land use/land cover and topography (slope) data.

This data is also incorporated in the model’s advanced wind component, which reflects the tendency for China’s large-scale coastal mountains to reduce wind speeds at the storm scale upon landfall.  Using high resolution topographic data, the AIR model also accounts for surface friction, gustiness, and elevation and slope effects. These local effects allow the model to accurately capture the observed wind speed increases on the windward slopes of mountains, hills and escarpments, for example.

In addition to residential, commercial and industrial risks, the model covers Construction All Risks/Erection All Risks (CAR/EAR), an important line of business in the rapidly developing country. AIR has developed an objective, engineering-based approach that captures this time-dependent wind and flood vulnerability of buildings under construction, from excavation to project completion. The model also explicitly captures the effect of wind duration on structures.

“The AIR typhoon model for China embodies the most advanced scientific research on meteorology, hydrology, and the vulnerability of the Chinese building stock to wind and flood,” said Uday Virkud, P.E., senior vice president at AIR Worldwide.  “When teamed with our industry-leading earthquake model for China, the AIR typhoon model for China provides companies with a comprehensive solution to assess the risks from typhoons and earthquakes in China.”

The AIR Typhoon Model for China is available immediately in CLASIC/2 and CATRADER.   

About AIR Worldwide Corporation
AIR Worldwide Corporation (AIR) is the scientific leader and most respected provider of risk modeling software and consulting services worldwide. AIR is at the forefront of catastrophe risk management in China and works with some of the leading research institutions in China to better understand the impact of natural catastrophes. AIR’s partners include the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, the China Earthquake Administration’s Institute of Geology, and the Shanghai Typhoon Institute.  

AIR founded the catastrophe modeling industry in 1987 and today models the risk from natural catastrophes and terrorism in more than 50 countries. More than 400 insurance, reinsurance, financial, corporate and government clients rely on AIR software and services for catastrophe risk management. AIR is a member of the ISO family of companies and is headquartered in Boston with additional offices in North America, Europe and Asia, including Beijing, China. For more information, please visit

About ISO
ISO is a leading provider of products and services that help measure, manage, and reduce risk. ISO provides data, analytics, and decision-support solutions to professionals in many fields, including insurance, finance, real estate, health services, government, and human resources. Clients use ISO's databases and services to classify and evaluate a variety of risks and detect potential fraud. In the United States and around the world, ISO services help customers protect people, property, and financial assets.

Release: Immediate

Giuseppe Barone / Erica Helton
MWW Group (for ISO)
201-507-9500 /

Kevin Long (AIR)

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