Meteorologically Stratified Gust Factors for Forecasting Peak Wind Gusts Across the United States

Brandon Selbig, “Meteorologically Stratified Gust Factors for Forecasting Peak Wind Gusts Across the United States”
Mentor: Jonathan Kahl, Atmospheric Science

Wind gusts are a major factor in different areas across not only the United States but different parts of the globe as they have different ecological and economical impacts. A better understanding of wind interactions in a given area could enhance forecasting and in the end help save money. Past researchers have taken wind measurements from US National Weather Service Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) sites from a span of years that allowed them to create gust factors (GF), the ratio of peak wind gust to average wind speed, and used them to analyze “gustiness” for 15 different cities across the United States. From this they were able to conclude that the GF Model had credibility when given a correct forecasted wind speed and direction. What I will do is determine Gust Factors, using 1 minute wind data from 2010-2017, as was done for the first 15 sites, for many ASOS sites spread throughout the entire 50 states, to analyze the “gustiness” of them all. I will construct GF web plots, which illustrate gust factors and their dependence on wind speed and direction in a given area. Also I will construct a climatology of winds in these cities over the same span of years to be able to show the windiest/gustiest times of year.. I expect the results to reveal climatological features of gustiness and most importantly provide the Gust Factors for the many sites across the US to make for better forecasts and operational work across the country.


  1. Hey everyone! My name is Brandon Selbig and if you have any questions or comments on my project leave them here and id be happy to respond! Thanks for listening!

  2. Thanks for sharing your latest research, Brandon! I appreciate your enthusiasm and the clarity of your presentation. I agree that the spatial distributions of the 99th percentile gusts make sense intuitively and meteorologically. Nicely done!

  3. Nicely done! You explained this clearly for someone unfamiliar with this area of study. Living near the lakefront, it is true that you never quite know what direction the wind will be coming from!

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