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Hurricane Surface Winds

Principal Investigator : Mark Powell

Group Members :
Shirley Murillo
Bachir Annane
Nick Carrasco
Russel St. Fleur
Sonia Otero
Neal Dorst
Jason Dunion

Objective :
To support projects associated with improved analysis of surface wind fields in tropical cyclones. H*Wind is a global tropical cyclone observing system designed to integrate observations from land-, sea-, space-, and air-based measurement platforms to provide:

  • Magnitude and extent of damaging winds in realtime or retrospectively and serve as the 'Analysis of Record'.
  • Forcing for storm surge and wave modeling; assist wind engineering community in establishing 'design event'.
  • Observation-based analysis to serve as a basis for evaluating new wind measurement systems.
  • Prototype products for input to geographic information system based decision support tools (e.g. DHS-FEMA's HAZUS).
  • New metrics for evaluating destructive potential in tropical cyclones.


  • All measurement platforms are processed to a common framework: 10 m, max 1 min wind, marine or open exposure.
  • Oracle 9i database, JAVA, J2EE, winner of JAVA and Tech Transfer awards at NOAATech 2000, 2002.
  • Observations plotted relative to the storm center over a 3-6 h period during which conditions are assumed stationary.
  • All observations passing QC are objectively analyzed via least squares ?tting with a derivative constraint.
  • Analysis winds represent 'open terrain' over land and marine exposure over the sea.
  • Valuable research tool for analysis and forecast validation.
  • Products include snapshots, swaths, shape files, and gridded files.


  • First ever realtime tower data into realtime tropical cyclone wind field analysis
  • First ever feed of wind swath data to realtime damage assessment HAZUS software at FEMA.
  • High frequency, large domain wind field snapshots for Hurricanes Betsy 1965, Lili (2002) and Isidore (2002).
  • Over 100 realtime analyses of 2003 season tropical cyclones.
  • Technical review panel final report to Army Corps of Engineers on ADCIRC model for New Orleans District.
  • Technical guidance to National Institute of Building Sciences and FEMA for HAZUS via the Wind Committee.
  • Development of Integrated Kinetic Energy metric for evaluating the destructive potential of tropical cyclones.

References :

H*wind archive page

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Last modified: 11/1/2007

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