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Evaluation of Non-convective Wind Forecasting Methods in the 15th Operational Weather Squadron Area of Responsibility

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Master's thesis

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Predicting critical wind thresholds for non-convective wind events is a challenge for todays operational forecasters. This study evaluates two different methods to forecasting non-convective wind gusts of 35 knots at five locations within the 15th Operational Weather Squadrons area of responsibility. In 2001, Olivier Brasseur developed the Wind Gust Estimate WGE as a physically based representation of the boundary layer parameters required to produce gusts at the surface. Previous research compared the WGE to the Air Force Weather Agencys non-convective wind gust algorithm. In this research, the WGE is statistically compared to the Rapid Update Cycles RUC wind gust algorithm that is empirically derived to produce wind gusts forecasts in the RUC model. Utilizing a WRF ensemble data set, the statistical results show the RUC performed better overall at three of the five locations when evaluated with the 35 knot threshold. Case study analysis revealed that the WGE performed best on seven of the ten case studies. A best fit linear regression is applied to both algorithms and the performance is evaluated on ten independent case studies to analyze accuracy improvements and the potential use of such tuning to the algorithms for future applications. The results of this research suggest that integration of both non-convective wind gust forecast methods into operational forecasts at the 15th Operational Weather Squadron could prove valuable with further testing and evaluation against established rules of thumb and other accepted techniques.

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  • Meteorology

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