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Publication Date
8 December 2022

Short‐Term Forecasting of Wind Gusts at Airports Across CONUS Using Machine Learning



Short-term forecasting of wind gusts, particularly those of higher intensity, is of great societal importance but is challenging due to the presence of multiple gust generation mechanisms. Wind gust observations from eight high-passenger-volume airports across the continental United States (CONUS) are summarized and used to develop predictive models of wind gust occurrence and magnitude. These short-term (same hour) forecast models are built using multiple logistic and linear regression, as well as artificial neural networks (ANNs) of varying complexity. A suite of 19 upper-air predictors drawn from the ERA5 reanalysis and an autoregressive (AR) term are used. Stepwise procedures instruct predictor selection, and resampling is used to quantify model stability. All models are developed separately for the warm (April–September) and cold (October–March) seasons. Results show that ANNs of 3–5 hidden layers (HLs) generally exhibit higher hit rates than logistic regression models and also improve skill with respect to wind gust magnitudes. However, deeper networks with more HLs increase false alarm rates in occurrence models and mean absolute error in magnitude models due to model overfitting. For model skill, inclusion of the AR term is critical while the majority of the remaining skill derives from wind speeds and lapse rates. A predictive ceiling is also clearly demonstrated, particularly for the strong and damaging gust magnitudes, which appears to be partially due to ERA5 predictor characteristics and the presence of mixed wind climates. 

Coburn, Jacob J, Julian Arnheim, and Sara C. Pryor. 2022. “Short‐Term Forecasting Of Wind Gusts At Airports Across Conus Using Machine Learning”. Earth And Space Science 9 (12). American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2022ea002486.
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