A case study of the distribution of high wind speeds in the Greater Victoria area using wind data from the School-Based Weather Station Network




Matsuda, Miho

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This thesis presents the distribution of strong wind and wind pressure in the Greater Victoria area associated with winter mid-latitude cyclones based on climate data from the School-Based Weather Station Network during 6 selected days in the winters of 2006, 2007 and 2008. The objectives of this study are i) to test whether synoptic conditions favourable to severe mid-latitude cyclonic storms that are well described in the literature were associated with the selected storms, ii) to determine the time patterns of high wind speed and its direction and maximum gusts, iii) to test necessity of considering the spatial variation in air density and its controls in general assessments of the spatial variation in wind pressure and wind damage potential in the local area, iv) to identify potential areas susceptible to wind damage. Observations taken every second were from Davis Vantage Pro2 TM Plus weather stations located on the southern edge of school building roofs. Thirty-minute means and gust wind speeds were used. All six storms went north of Victoria. The synoptic conditions associated with the selected mid-latitude cyclones agreed with the ones described in literature. Strongest winds at most stations were generally from the southwest, and multiple wind speed peaks were found. The daily iii  maximum gust wind speeds were found before and/or after the highest mean wind speed peak. The spatial variation in air density and its controls were found to be negligible. Although there are a number of interacting causes of the distribution, strongest winds were at stations with smooth surrounding surfaces, close to the southern shoreline, on exposed slopes and/or near relief constrictions. The area with greatest wind speeds and damage potential was found from the east of downtown extending to Lansdowne Middle School. This study provides new knowledge of winds in the Greater Victoria area and contributes to people’s better response to wind storms, land use planning and forecasting severe windstorms.



wind distribution, Greater Victoria, the School-Based Weather Station Network, winter mid-latitude cyclones, topography, wind pressure, air density, wind damage potential