Computationally inexpensive way to study windstorms on small scale



Windstorms are a major source of economic damage in Europe. To study their impacts on regional scales, scientists need large data sets of detailed, high-resolution wind field data. However, high-resolution regional simulations are computationally expensive. Haas and Pinto developed a statistical approach to downscale wind characteristics from large-scale atmospheric models to obtain wind speed data on smaller scales. They use their method to derive windstorm-related gust speeds on a small-scale grid over Europe for a sample of windstorm events. The method is computationally inexpensive and reproduces observed windstorm events adequately, the authors report. The technique can be applied to ensembles of global climate models to project the potential future regional impacts of wind in a changing climate. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2012GL054014, 2012)