Exploring changes in Caribbean hurricane-induced wave heights
During recent decades there has been open debate about a possible increase in the number and magnitude of more energetic hurricanes in the Atlantic, including their causes and implications. In this work, changes in extreme wave heights induced by hurricanes in the Caribbean Sea are analyzed. A non-stationary model is employed to study possible changes in the frequency of occurrence and magnitude of extreme waves from an hourly time series during the period of 1979–2012. The results indicate an increase in the occurrence of extreme wave events in the eastern and central Caribbean, and consequently, a positive long-term trend for 30yr return values. The zone of the highest trends is observed in the western basin in the middle of the Caribbean Sea towards the Gulf of Mexico. A final rate of approximately 2 events/year for 2012 is found throughout the Yucatan basin.