S116 A Climatology of East Coast High Wind Events and Their Impacts from 2009 to 2018

Sunday, 12 January 2020
Gabrielle Linscott, Hobart and William Smith College, Geneva, NY; and C. Wiley and E. G. Hoffman

Previous climatological studies of high wind have been limited to the Great Lakes region and New Hampshire and have used varying definitions of high wind events (HWEs). The goals of this study were to expand the geographic region of wind and HWE climatologies in the US to encompass most of the East Coast, compare findings with similar previous studies including the effects of topography and geography on the wind, include warm seasons in our data set so that we could account for wind from convection, and understand the impacts of HWEs using SPC Storm Reports. HWEs were defined using the NWS Wind Advisory criteria (sustained wind greater than or equal to 13.8 m/s (26.8 kts) and/or gusts greater than or equal to 20.6 m/s (40.0 kts), allowing for gaps of three hours between high wind observations in one HWE. For the study region, fifteen stations were chosen along the East Coast in five regions, each with a coastal, inland, and mountain station. The results of this study were that coastal locations are windier and have more HWEs than inland and mountain stations, that HWEs in northern regions are most frequent in February, but also in July at southern locations and typically last for less than an hour and start between 1800 and 2200 UTC. Lastly, investigation of storm reports showed that HWEs are associated with more widespread (e.g., synoptic scale) impacts in the north, most often snow, and are more localized (e.g., mesoscale) in the south and are associated most often with thunderstorms.
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