Journal article

Application of a new wind gust parameterization : multiscale case studies performed with the Canadian regional climate model

  • Goyette, Stéphane Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Brasseur, Olivier Laboratoire d'étude des Transferts en Hydrologie et Environnement, Domaine Universitaire, Grenoble, France
  • Beniston, Martin Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
Published in:
  • Journal of Geophysical Research. - 2003, vol. 108, no. 13, p. 1-16
English The implementation of a physically based parameterization scheme for computation of wind gusts in a numerical regional climate model (RCM) is described in this paper. The method is based on an innovative approach proposed by Brasseur [2001] that assumes that gusts occurring at the surface result from the deflection of air parcels flowing higher in the boundary layer. Our parameterization scheme is developed so as to use quantities available at each model time step: consequently, the gusts are also computed for each of these time steps. To illustrate the performances of this novel method, gusts simulated for two severe midlatitude windstorms with the Canadian RCM at various resolutions are compared with observed gust speeds. The study is carried out concurrently for the complex terrain of Switzerland and for the smoother topography of Belgium. A preliminary analysis indicates that this parameterization performs equally well over flat and over mountainous regions; it also responds properly in the strengthening as well as the weakening phases of wind storms. The storm-dependent results rely on the model configuration associated with the downscaling procedure, as well as on the accuracy of the simulated flow fields. The model response is dependent on the resolved topography distribution and height and on the types of lower boundary conditions that affect the stability of the boundary layer. The simulated gusts are generally more realistic at higher resolution over the complex topography of Switzerland but are less sensitive to resolution over the flat terrain as in Belgium. On the basis of these two storms, this study also shows that simple scaling coefficients relating gust speeds and resolution are not an appropriate method for addressing such issues.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Géosciences
  • English
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