A “downburst” is defined as a diverging wind system that occurs when a strong downdraft induces an outflow of damaging winds on or near the ground. Severe wind damage in many parts of the world are often due to thunderstorm outflows and their knowledge is therefore relevant for structural safety and design wind speed evaluation. Nevertheless, there is not yet a shared model for thunderstorm outflows and their actions on structures. In this paper, an analytical model that simulates the horizontal mean wind velocity originated from a travelling downburst is proposed. The horizontal wind velocity is expressed as the vector summation of three independent components: the stationary radial velocity generated by an impinging jet over a flat surface, the downdraft translating velocity, which corresponds to the parent cloud motion, and the boundary layer background wind field at the surface where the downburst is immersed. A parametric analysis is also developed and coupled with the analytical model aiming to investigate two observed downburst events and extract their main parameters – e.g. downdraft diameter, touch-down position, translating downdraft speed and direction, intensity and decay period - in order to reconstruct the space-time evolution of these events. Due to large computational cost for the reconstruction of a single downburst wind field a novel strategy is implemented to speed up the process. Two metaheuristic optimization algorithms are used, namely the Teaching Learning Based Optimization and the Differential Evolution. The metric to evaluate the algorithm’s efficiency is based on the convergence behaviour of the objective function towards the best solution as the number of iterations increases. The decision variable parameters (e.g. downdraft diameter, touch-down position, translating downdraft speed and direction, iintensity,and decay period and so on) that minimize the objective function are very important in Wind Engineering since their knowledge allows statistical analysis of the intense wind fields that are generated during downburst winds, and therefore allows to better define the actions that these extreme events have on structures. Lastly the proposed model was validated against s strong downburst event that took place in Sânnicolau Mare (Romania) during the summer of 2021. This event was accompanied by hail of 2-3 cm in size and the hail near the surface was driven by the downburst wind. This means that the horizontal velocity of the ice projectile near the surface was less or equal to the horizontal downburst wind velocity. After this strong event, a damage survey was carried out in collaboration between the University of Genoa (Italy) and the University of Bucharest (Romania). The damage survey identified locations of buildings in Sânnicolau Mare that suffered hail damage during the event. The analytical model was used to reproduce the recorded wind speed and direction due to the severe downburst. Using the simulated wind field, the simulated damage “footprint” (i.e., the maximum wind speed that occurred at a given place at any time during the passage of the downburst) was calculated. The simulated footprint was able to matches with a very good extent the areas that suffered from hail damage, and consequently permit to validate the proposed analytical model.

Downburst Wind Field Reconstruction by means of a 2D Analytical Model and Investigation of the Parameter’s Variability through an Ensemble Approach

XHELAJ, ANDI
2022

Abstract

A “downburst” is defined as a diverging wind system that occurs when a strong downdraft induces an outflow of damaging winds on or near the ground. Severe wind damage in many parts of the world are often due to thunderstorm outflows and their knowledge is therefore relevant for structural safety and design wind speed evaluation. Nevertheless, there is not yet a shared model for thunderstorm outflows and their actions on structures. In this paper, an analytical model that simulates the horizontal mean wind velocity originated from a travelling downburst is proposed. The horizontal wind velocity is expressed as the vector summation of three independent components: the stationary radial velocity generated by an impinging jet over a flat surface, the downdraft translating velocity, which corresponds to the parent cloud motion, and the boundary layer background wind field at the surface where the downburst is immersed. A parametric analysis is also developed and coupled with the analytical model aiming to investigate two observed downburst events and extract their main parameters – e.g. downdraft diameter, touch-down position, translating downdraft speed and direction, intensity and decay period - in order to reconstruct the space-time evolution of these events. Due to large computational cost for the reconstruction of a single downburst wind field a novel strategy is implemented to speed up the process. Two metaheuristic optimization algorithms are used, namely the Teaching Learning Based Optimization and the Differential Evolution. The metric to evaluate the algorithm’s efficiency is based on the convergence behaviour of the objective function towards the best solution as the number of iterations increases. The decision variable parameters (e.g. downdraft diameter, touch-down position, translating downdraft speed and direction, iintensity,and decay period and so on) that minimize the objective function are very important in Wind Engineering since their knowledge allows statistical analysis of the intense wind fields that are generated during downburst winds, and therefore allows to better define the actions that these extreme events have on structures. Lastly the proposed model was validated against s strong downburst event that took place in Sânnicolau Mare (Romania) during the summer of 2021. This event was accompanied by hail of 2-3 cm in size and the hail near the surface was driven by the downburst wind. This means that the horizontal velocity of the ice projectile near the surface was less or equal to the horizontal downburst wind velocity. After this strong event, a damage survey was carried out in collaboration between the University of Genoa (Italy) and the University of Bucharest (Romania). The damage survey identified locations of buildings in Sânnicolau Mare that suffered hail damage during the event. The analytical model was used to reproduce the recorded wind speed and direction due to the severe downburst. Using the simulated wind field, the simulated damage “footprint” (i.e., the maximum wind speed that occurred at a given place at any time during the passage of the downburst) was calculated. The simulated footprint was able to matches with a very good extent the areas that suffered from hail damage, and consequently permit to validate the proposed analytical model.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1097493
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