Tornado Researchers Gather to Improve Wind Speed Estimation

October 13, 2019 · 0 comments

The Wind Speed Estimation (WSE) standards committee–jointly supported by AMS and the American Society of Civil Engineers–is holding its 9th meeting this week in conjunction with an NSF-funded Tornado Hazard Wind Assessment and ReducTion Symposium (THWARTS) at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

The WSE committee began in 2014 to develop standards for an improved process to estimate extreme storm winds. Currently, NWS and private post-storm damage surveys use the EF-Scale and treefall pattern analysis, real-time radar and in situ observations, remote sensing, and forensic investigations. The WSE committee includes a data archival team as well as an international working group to broaden the scope of the standard. (Click here for more information about the committee.)

WSE

This is the second joint meeting of WSE/THWARTS and will focus on sharing the latest findings on the multidisciplinary aspects of severe local storms, including the fields of meteorology, wind science and engineering, structural engineering, social science, and policy. A flyer about the symposium with basic information is available online.

Keynote speaker for THWARTS will be Erik Rasmussen. He was the field coordinator of the first of the VORTEX projects in 1994-1995 and a lead principal investigator for VORTEX2 from 2009-2010 and VORTEX-SE from 2016-2017. He currently consults with NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies.

The WSE meeting begins after the final session of THWARTS. The meeting is the first step toward a request for public comment on WSE, likely next year.