Near-surface wind characteristics of extreme thunderstorm outflows

Kirsten D. Orwig, John L. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Wind engineers have long contemplated how to handle thunderstorm winds. Their flow characteristics are non-stationary and difficult to analyze. Models and simulations have improved the overall understanding of thunderstorm outflows, but full-scale data is scarce making validation difficult. A thunderstorm outflow experiment was conducted in 2002, during which seven mobile towers were deployed in a linear array to obtain high-resolution data from outflows. Two extreme events were captured: a rear-flank downdraft of a supercell, and a derecho. Traditional statistical analysis techniques were modified and employed for the two events. The results were compared to non-thunderstorm winds revealing significant differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-584
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Derecho
  • Downburst
  • Full-scale
  • Gust factor
  • Integral scale
  • Outflow
  • Thunderstorm
  • Turbulence
  • Turbulence intensity


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