Prediction of Non- Synoptic Wind Speeds

Franklin T. Lombardo, Alexander S. Zickar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Winds generated from non-synoptic events cause significant losses globally. This chapter focuses specifically on winds generated from thunderstorms. Thunderstorm-generated winds produce the highest recorded wind speeds in many worldwide locations, which makes them important for the design of structures. Prediction of these wind speeds is then a crucial step in the design process. This chapter discusses a simple, step-by-step procedure for predicting thunderstorm-generated wind speeds using a location in the United States as an illustrative example. This procedure includes data recording/archival, storm-type classification, reducing data dependence, estimating a rate of occurrence, and fitting a probability distribution, including consideration of multiple storm types. Examples from the existing literature are also shared to give the reader a comprehensive look at what has been done on the topic to this point. Based on the illustrative example and the existing literature, physical and probabilistic differences from synoptic prediction methods and analysis are also elucidated. These differences include higher variability of thunderstorm-generated winds, regionality of the wind climate, and topics such as wind directionality and changes in frequency and intensity. Rarely used simulation techniques that help address robustness of current predictions as well as handle the finite spatial dimensions in the analysis and prediction of non-synoptic winds are also covered. Future work on non-synoptic wind speed prediction is touched on, including additional parsing of non-synoptic storms into subtypes and a comprehensive non-synoptic model similar to what has been done for tropical cyclones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Heracles
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780190650988
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Extreme value analysis
  • Extremes
  • Prediction
  • Probability distribution
  • Simulation
  • Thunderstorm
  • Wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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