Numerical simulation of downburst winds

Mason, Matthew S., Wood, Graeme S. and Fletcher, David F. (2009) Numerical simulation of downburst winds. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 97 11-12: 523-539. doi:10.1016/j.jweia.2009.07.010


Author Mason, Matthew S.
Wood, Graeme S.
Fletcher, David F.
Title Numerical simulation of downburst winds
Journal name Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0167-6105
1872-8197
Publication date 2009-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jweia.2009.07.010
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 97
Issue 11-12
Start page 523
End page 539
Total pages 17
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Abstract The wind field of an intense idealised downburst wind storm has been studied using an axisymmetric, dry, non-hydrostatic numerical sub-cloud model. The downburst driving processes of evaporation and melting have been paramaterized by an imposed cooling source that triggers and sustains a downdraft. The simulated downburst exhibits many characteristics of observed full-scale downburst events, in particular the presence of a primary and counter rotating secondary ring vortex at the leading edge of the diverging front. The counter-rotating vortex is shown to significantly influence the development and structure of the outflow. Numerical forcing and environmental characteristics have been systematically varied to determine the influence on the outflow wind field. Normalised wind structure at the time of peak outflow intensity was generally shown to remain constant for all simulations. Enveloped velocity profiles considering the velocity structure throughout the entire storm event show much more scatter. Assessing the available kinetic energy within each simulated storm event, it is shown that the simulated downburst wind events had significantly less energy available for loading isolated structures when compared with atmospheric boundary layer winds. The discrepancy is shown to be particularly prevalent when wind speeds were integrated over heights representative of tall buildings. A similar analysis for available full scale measurements led to similar findings.
Keyword Downburst
Microburst
Thunderstorm
Thunderstorm outflow
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Civil Engineering Publications
 
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