Friday, July 22, 2011

Quick Update

Just wanted to give a quick update as to whats been happening since the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season began almost 2 months ago.

As of writing this blog we have had three named storms so far: Arlene, Bret, and Cindy. All of which were tropical storms at their peak intensity.

For us, the biggest recent event was the 13th International Conference on Wind Engineering which was held in Amsterdam. This conference is the premier event for wind engineers around the world to present their current research. It is held every 4 years. Texas Tech and Lubbock hosted the 2003 version of the conference. TTUHRT scientist Dr. Brian Hirth presented his doctoral research on the evolution of the wind field across the land/sea interface during Hurricane Frances (2004). His analysis used data collected by the SMART-Radars to examine the structure of the horizontal wind field and the vertical wind profile. Dr. John Schroeder, Dr. Tanya Brown, and myself also attended the conference. Dr. Tanya Brown presented work from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety full-scale test facility on replicating wind load pressures measured in full-scale at Texas Tech's Wind Engineering Field Laboratory. She is a full-time research engineer at the laboratory and a faculty associate within the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at TTU.

While most of us were in Amsterdam, field coordinator Rich Krupar and undergraduate researcher Colton Ancell have been working hard to get our StickNet fleet ready for operations following the conclusion of Project SCOUT (project examining thunderstorm outflow wind characteristics). Two real-time data transmission tests were successfully completed and data were assimilated by NOAA Hurricane Research Division into the H*Wind wind field model. As mentioned in the previous blog, only 12 probes will transmit data this year. Real-time data will not be made available to the general public given our limited web server capability and real-time quality control and assurance procedures are still in the development phase. We hope in the coming years to acquire additional funding to outfit all 24 probes and provide web products to the general public.

In other news, myself along with co-authors Dr. John Schroeder (TTU) and Dr. Mark Powell (NOAA-HRD) recently had a scientific journal paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Wind and Structures. The work focused on the characteristics of tropical cyclone vertical wind profiles and their implications for wind engineering using GPS dropwindsonde data and WSR-88D radar velocity measurements.

Also, a StickNet wind record collected by probe 0107A during Hurricane Dolly (2008) will be used by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety to replicate the wind conditions during an upcoming hurricane demonstration to show the impact of wind driven rain on a home. Hurricane Dolly caused significant freshwater flooding in South Texas. The hurricane also marked the first time StickNet probes were deployed for a landfalling storm.

Thats it for now... be sure to follow TTUHRT on Facebook.