12B.5 A significant high wind event in Alaska's Matanuska Valley

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 9:30 AM
615-617 (Washington State Convention Center)
Emily Niebuhr, NOAA/NWS, Anchorage, AK

On January 10th and 11th 2010, winds of nearly 80 mph blew through the Matanuska valley, tearing down trees and turning over small airplanes. Although an intense 955 mb low was approaching the area, the discontinuity of the damage suggests that the strongest winds were the result of local gap winds. Output from a high resolution WRF model is explored to determine the main causes of this event. In addition, the second goal of this study is to determine which configurations of the WRF are the most suitable for high wind events in the complex terrain of the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains of south central Alaska. The Anchorage, AK National Weather Service Forecast Office is currently using a high resolution WRF model run to assist in daily forecasts, but it is not objectively known if the current configuration is best able to capture these high impact wind events.
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