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Spatial-Temporal Trends of Extreme Winds in The United States

Presentation Date
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 4:28pm



Extreme winds can cause severe damage to the built environment and property and can disrupt transportation, communications, and power systems. While recent studies on natural hazards extensively focused on trends in extreme precipitation, temperature, and streamflow, works on analyzing the spatio-temporal trends in extreme winds are limited. In this study, we present an analysis of the space-time trends in extreme wind speed across the United States from 1948 to 2011 using gridded daily wind speed data available from NOAA’s Livneh near-surface gridded observed meteorological data. Linear and non-linear trend analyses were performed on the annual maximum and seasonal maximum wind speed for each 211,687 grid points. The significance of the trends was verified based on goodness-of-fit tests on the residuals. Spatial risk is quantified using a new simultaneous extreme wind detection algorithm in which grids that exceed the 10- and 50-year return period events (based on a Gumbel distribution) are measured for contiguous areas. Based on this analysis, we found 20 and 12 years, respectively, for the 10- and 50-year return period events exceedances that manifest spatial risk beyond chance. At-point risk is measured based on the frequency of grid point occurrence in the 20 and 12 years. These risk maps can be used to identify regions and locations prone to simultaneous high winds more frequently. The frequency distribution of the extreme wind areas seems to follow a power-law with a scaling exponent of around 2.5 for the 10- and 50-year exceedance areas.