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A methodology to conduct wind damage field surveys for high-impact weather events of convective origin
Title: A methodology to conduct wind damage field surveys for high-impact weather events of convective origin
Authors: Rodríguez, OriolBech, JoanSoriano Romero, Juan de DiosAutor AEMETGutiérrez Rubio, DeliaAutor AEMETCastan, Salvador
Keywords: High-impact weather events; Strong winds; Convective phenomenon
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: European Geosciences Union
Citation: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 2020, 20(5), p. 1513–1531
Publisher version:
Abstract: Post-event damage assessments are of paramount importance to document the effects of high-impact weather-related events such as floods or strong wind events. Moreover, evaluating the damage and characterizing its extent and intensity can be essential for further analysis such as completing a diagnostic meteorological case study. This paper presents a methodology to perform field surveys of damage caused by strong winds of convective origin (i.e. tornado, downburst and straight-line winds). It is based on previous studies and also on 136 field studies performed by the authors in Spain between 2004 and 2018. The methodology includes the collection of pictures and records of damage to human-made structures and on vegetation during the in situ visit to the affected area, as well as of available automatic weather station data, witness reports and images of the phenomenon, such as funnel cloud pictures, taken by casual observers. To synthesize the gathered data, three final deliverables are proposed: (i) a standardized text report of the analysed event, (ii) a table consisting of detailed geolocated information about each damage point and other relevant data and (iii) a map or a KML (Keyhole Markup Language) file containing the previous information ready for graphical display and further analysis. This methodology has been applied by the authors in the past, sometimes only a few hours after the event occurrence and, on many occasions, when the type of convective phenomenon was uncertain. In those uncertain cases, the information resulting from this methodology contributed effectively to discern the phenomenon type thanks to the damage pattern analysis, particularly if no witness reports were available. The application of methodologies such as the one presented here is necessary in order to build homogeneous and robust databases of severe weather cases and high-impact weather events.
Sponsorship : This research has been supported by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (grant no. CGL2015-65627-C3-2-R) and the Agencia Estatal de Investigación (grant nos. CGL2016-81828-REDT, RTI2018-098693-B643-C32).
ISSN: 1561-8633
Appears in Collections:Artículos científicos 2019-2022

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