Workflow for the development of tropical cyclone local wind fields: Tropical Cyclone Debbie, March 25–29, 2017
Authors / CoAuthors
Here we demonstrate a workflow for the development of a local, corrected wind field for severe Tropical Cyclone (TC) Debbie. We combine modelling with corrections based on observations, and local wind effects including topography, land cover, shielding and direction to provide the best estimate of actual wind speeds. This is important, as wind speed observations are sparse, and do not necessarily provide even coverage of the TC landfall region. The final corrected wind field records the maximum 0.2 second wind gust, at 10 metres above ground, throughout the lifetime of TC Debbie, and provides a best estimate of maximum wind gust speeds associated with TC Debbie.
Through the development of this workflow we will demonstrate the importance of observational data for validating wind field modelling outputs, and highlight the usefulness of James Cook University’s mobile anemometers for collecting wind speed data where gaps exist in the Bureau of Meteorology’s automatic weather station network.
We identify the limitations in the availability of national land cover datasets at high resolution, and demonstrate the development of a fit-for-purpose land cover dataset using GA’s Digital Earth Australia Landsat archives (Lewis et al. 2017).
This report and the accompanying datasets have been released with the aim of showcasing a method, which can be refined by others to develop a standard methodology for the production of local TC wind fields. This workflow can be applied in the same way following future TC events to support the post-disaster field surveys that are routinely carried out by a range of parties following a severe TC making landfall. The local wind fields, combined with the damage surveys ultimately help to refine our vulnerability models of housing stock in Australia.