Vertical Profiles and Horizontal Distributions of Observed and Modeled Wind and Pressure Fields Over the NYC Metro Area During Superstorm Sandy as a Tool for Understanding Impacts and Risks for a Vertically Built Environment

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Thursday, 6 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Mark Arend, City College of New York, New York, NY; and E. J. Gutiérrez, J. E. Gonzalez, F. Moshary, B. Bornstein, and A. Martilli

The vertical structure of Superstorm Sandy's wind fields were measured with a radar wind profiler located near the Statue of Liberty just south of Manhattan, NYC. In addition, a collection of surface stations reported in real time and recorded the passage of the wind fields and pressure levels of the Superstorm. Surface (and rooftop) wind field measurements in a complex built environment are often difficult to interpret depending on the influence that local obstructions have on these observations. However, the commonly used Saffir-Simpson scale is gauged on the intensity of the surface wind fields. Knowledge of the vertical structure of the wind, when used in concert with a numerical weather prediction tool (uWRF,: an urban parameterization of the Weather Research and Forecasting model ) that is appraised using recorded surface pressure fields, increases the confidence for extrapolating risks, commonly assessed near the surface, to the tops of tall buildings. Superstorm Sandy provides a good test case to understand how to characterize the risks and impacts that hurricanes may have on cities with tall buildings and this research opens the door for using the NYCMetNet and uWRF to help asses these risks.