Brandon Selbig, “Climatology of Peak Wind Gusts Around Lake Michigan”
Mentor: Jonathan Kahl, Mathematical Sciences
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. Specifically, wind gusts can affect different areas along bodies of water such as coastlines or in this project large lakes like Lake Michigan, as not only are different cities affected but also companies that rely on water travel. Water travel for companies along Lake Michigan have to worry about many factors driven by winds and wind gusts which can affect wave heights and the ships ability to navigate waters and also winds enhanced by lake breezes can have an affect on surrounding lakeside areas. 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” either across the country or for specific sites. What I plan to do is to calculate Gust Factors that are created using 1 minute wind data from 2010-2017, for ASOS sites surrounding Lake Michigan to analyze the “gustiness” across the lake. I will construct GF web plots, which illustrate gust factors and their dependence on wind speed and direction at several sites around Lake Michigan. From there we can spatially analyze how these GFs change throughout the geographic locations surrounding Lake Michigan. Also I will construct a climatology of winds in these areas over the same span of years to be able to show the windiest/gustiest times of year for a certain area around the lake. I expect the results to reveal climatological features of gustiness around Lake Michigan.