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Automated Extraction of Thunderstorm and Non-Thunderstorm Wind Data Sets From Archived Weather Reports



Franklin T. Lombardo, Joseph A. Main


Wind loads for use in structural design are based in part on extreme value analysis of historical wind data, and limitations on the quantity and spatial resolution of wind data pose a significant challenge in such analyses. A promising source of additional wind speed and direction data from recent decades is the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), a network of about 1000 standardized weather stations throughout the United States. In order to facilitate more widespread use of ASOS wind data for structural engineering purposes, this paper presents procedures and publicly available software for (a) extraction of peak gust wind data from archived ASOS weather reports, (b) extraction of thunderstorm observations from archived weather reports, (c) classification of wind data as thunderstorm or non-thunderstorm to enable separate statistical analysis of these distinct types of winds, and (d) construction of data sets separated by specified minimum time intervals to ensure statistical independence. These procedures are illustrated using ASOS data from three stations near New York City over a period of about 20 years.
Journal of Structural Engineering--ASCE


Lombardo, F. and Main, J. (2009), Automated Extraction of Thunderstorm and Non-Thunderstorm Wind Data Sets From Archived Weather Reports, Journal of Structural Engineering--ASCE, [online], (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created April 18, 2009, Updated November 10, 2018