6B.1 About the ASCE Tornado Wind Speed Estimation Standards Committee

Tuesday, 8 November 2016: 10:30 AM
Pavilion Ballroom West (Hilton Portland )
James G. LaDue, NOAA/NWS/Office of Chief Learning Officer/Warning Decision Training Division, Norman, OK

The number of methods for estimating wind speeds in tornadoes and severe wind storms has grown significantly over the past 20 years and yet only one (the EF Scale) is considered in the official archive, and even then, the EF Scale had no official process for improvement.   Upon recognizing this problem, in the beginning of 2015, the American Society of Civil Engineering approved a proposal to form a standards committee on the estimation of wind speeds of tornadoes and other wind storms.  The committee, chaired and co-chaired by the authors, has developed a mission to create an ANSI-compliant standard that will document every method that can be used to estimate wind speed and provide a path to evolve each one.   These include methods employed using the EF Scale, forensics analysis, remote sensing, tree-fall pattern, radar (mobile and fixed), and in-situ anemometry.  Each method is represented by a subcommittee of anywhere from 6 to over 30 members devoted to developing a chapter in the standard.  An additional archival subcommittee will help develop a process to include these methods in the NWS Storm Data archive while an international working group will create a chapter on practices of tornado intensity estimation carried out by other countries.  Since 2015, the standards committee has developed a structure on what information to include in each chapter and now the development of the first draft is underway with the hopes of completion in March of 2017.  The standards committee membership represents the meteorological, engineering, and forest biology communities whose affiliations range from government, private and academic sectors.  This presentation will preview some proposals to be contained in the first draft and also to document how you will have the opportunity to provide comments before the final publication.
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