Date of Award

3-15-2014

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Meteorology

Department

Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry

Thesis Advisor

Eric Hoffman

Committee Member

Samuel Miller

Committee Member

Eric Kelsey

Abstract

A previous study of power outages in New Hampshire showed that strong wind events that led to major outages typically began during the overnight hours between 04 –10 UTC (11 pm –5 am EST). These wind events usually lasted for 36 or more hours. The diurnal climatology of winds has not been well documented in the literature with very little data published from New England. Therefore, this study attempts to document the diurnal wind climatology in New Hampshire. Five years (2007 –2011) of hourly METAR data from four stations (Keene, Portsmouth, Concord, and Berlin) were used. In order to examine wind events, a definition of a high wind event was developed by examining the overall wind speed frequency at each station. In this study, a high wind event was any event in which the wind speed or gust exceeded the 90thpercentile value (10 knots and 20 knots respectively) for more than three consecutive observations (e.g. two hours). The results of the strong wind event climatology show that most high wind events begin in the afternoon (17 –21 UTC, 12 pm –4 pm EST), are from the northwest, are relatively short lived (< 6 hours), and occur throughout the year with a maximum in the spring and winter months. Long duration wind events (typically > 24 hours) occur during the cold season and begin anytime during the day with nearly 40 –50% of them beginning between 00 -12 UTC (7 pm –7 am EST).

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