27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


Summary of Texas Tech University's hurricanes at landfall project 2005

Ian M. Giammanco, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX; and J. L. Schroeder and B. P. Edwards

The 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season marked the eighth season in which Texas Tech University's Wind Science and Engineering Research Center has deployed instrument towers for land-falling hurricanes in the United States. The mobile instrumentation consists of two trailer mounted 10-meter towers and three anchored 10-meter towers. All five towers sample wind speed and direction, temperature, and barometric pressure at a sampling rate of 10 Hz. The project has been able to sample the wind field of 24 land-falling tropical cyclones over the past eight years and has provided complete data records when most operational observing systems fail. The data collected has been utilized by government agencies as well as by researchers. The active 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season led to deployments for Hurricanes Dennis, Emily, Katrina, and Rita. Two experimental designs were used for the 2005 season. The first strategy placed the towers in a linear array, spaced approximately 50 meters apart, in order to characterize the turbulence generated in hurricane winds. The second experiment scattered the towers along and just inland of the coastline, in an effort to sample the eye wall of a major hurricane. This experimental plan was used during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. The towers systems were successful in collecting complete wind records during both Katrina and Rita. Preliminary results indicated a wind field that was very similar for both storms. Peak instantaneous wind speeds, of approximately 50 ms-1, were measured in both storms. The peak one-minute mean wind speed for Katrina and Rita failed to verify the official intensity at landfall, although the towers were placed inland due to storm-surge concerns for both storms. The towers sampled the western eye wall and the northeast eye wall of Hurricane Katrina, and the western eye wall of Hurricane Rita. The towers did not sample the region of maximum winds associated with Hurricane Rita, which occurred further east relative to the deployment array. The turbulence experimental design was used for Hurricane Dennis and Hurricane Emily, although the tower array was placed outside the radius of hurricane winds. This paper seeks to provide a summary from each deployment, as well as present the data collected from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

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Poster Session 7, The 2005 Atlantic Season
Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 1:30 PM-5:00 PM, Monterey Grand Ballroom

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