Date of Award
Master of Science
Department of Engineering Physics
Michael K. Walters, PhD
The Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) runs the Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model 5 (MM5) as their main mesoscale weather forecast model. One of the post-processing procedures is a diagnostic algorithm, which is used to help identify convective and non-convective wind gusts. O. Brassuer has identified a new Wind Gust Estimate (WGE), as a physically based method of computing non-convective wind gusts. The WGE surmises that Turbulent Kinetic Energy (TKE) transfers the momentum of faster upper-air winds to the surface, overcoming the buoyant energy of the surface layer. This work converts Brassuer's WGE to FORTRAN code and utilizing post-processed CONUS AFWA MM5 model output to estimate wind gusts by the WGE method. The WGE and AFWA methods are then categorically compared for accuracy and skill in forecasting wind gusts, to determine if the WGE method is superior to the current method. Three geographical regions are identified to determine gust sensitivities of the WGE and AFWA algorithms. The WGE generally performs better than the AFWA algorithm during daylight hours in correctly identifying and predicting gusts. Operational use of the WGE is warranted in the day and coastal regions, while improvements to the algorithm s handling of nighttime wind gusts is needed.
DTIC Accession Number
LaCroix, Kevin W., "Application of the Wind Gust Estimate and Comparison to the AFWA MM5 Wind Gust Algorithm" (2002). Theses and Dissertations. 4496.