Assessment of the Wind Gust Estimate Method in mesoscale modelling of storm events over West Germany
Pinto, J. G., Neuhaus, C. P., Krüger, A. and Kerschgens, M. (2009) Assessment of the Wind Gust Estimate Method in mesoscale modelling of storm events over West Germany. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 18 (5). pp. 495-506. ISSN 0941-2948
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2009/0402
A physically based gust parameterisation is added to the atmospheric mesoscale model FOOT3DK to estimate wind gusts associated with storms over West Germany. The gust parameterisation follows the Wind Gust Estimate (WGE) method and its functionality is verified in this study. The method assumes that gusts occurring at the surface are induced by turbulent eddies in the planetary boundary layer, deflecting air parcels from higher levels down to the surface under suitable conditions. Model simulations are performed with horizontal resolutions of 20 km and 5 km. Ten historical storm events of different characteristics and intensities are chosen in order to include a wide range of typical storms affecting Central Europe. All simulated storms occurred between 1990 and 1998. The accuracy of the method is assessed objectively by validating the simulated wind gusts against data from 16 synoptic stations by means of “quality parameters”. Concerning these parameters, the temporal and spatial evolution of the simulated gusts is well reproduced. Simulated values for low altitude stations agree particularly well with the measured gusts. For orographically exposed locations, the gust speeds are partly underestimated. The absolute maximum gusts lie in most cases within the bounding interval given by the WGE method. Focussing on individual storms, the performance of the method is better for intense and large storms than for weaker ones. Particularly for weaker storms, the gusts are typically overestimated. The results for the sample of ten storms document that the method is generally applicable with the mesoscale model FOOT3DK for mid-latitude winter storms, even in areas with complex orography.