Date of Award
Master of Science
Geological and Atmospheric Sciences
William A. Gallus
Hurricanes and tornadoes contain the most destructive and life threatening winds on the planet. Combined, they are responsible for approximately $11 billion in damage in the U.S. annually. To compose a set of effective mitigation techniques, a comprehensive understanding of hurricane and tornado winds is needed. However, our understanding of these winds in the lowest 30 meters AGL, particularly their interaction with complex terrain, is lacking.
This thesis includes two studies that address this issue. In the first study, a representative wind profile extracted from WRF simulations of hurricanes is used to initialize CFD modeled flow interaction with built structures using Fluent. The magnitude of structurally-induced modifications to the wind profile is presented. In the second study, recent tornado pressure and wind measurements are compared to laboratory and numerical simulations of tornado-like vortices. In addition, a comparative range of minimum pressures from a wide variety of tornadoes with different size and intensities is presented.
Christopher D. Karstens
Karstens, Christopher D., "Improved understanding of near-ground winds in hurricanes and tornadoes" (2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10893.