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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-294
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-294
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 17 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

A methodology to conduct wind damage field surveys for high impact weather events from convective origin

Oriol Rodríguez1, Joan Bech1, Juan de Dios Soriano2, Delia Gutiérrez2, and Salvador Castán3 Oriol Rodríguez et al.
  • 1Department of Applied Physics – Meteorology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, 08028, Spain
  • 2Agencia Estatal de Meteorología, Sevilla, 41092, Spain
  • 3Agencia Pericial, Cornellà de Llobregat, 08940, Spain

Abstract. Post-event damage assessments are essential to document the effects of high-impact weather events such as floods or strong wind events. Moreover, evaluating the damage and characterizing its extension and intensity can be helpful for further analysis such as completing a diagnostic meteorological case study. This paper presents a methodology to perform field surveys of damage caused by strong winds of convective origin, i.e. tornado, downburst and other types of convective winds. It is based on previous studies and also on 136 fieldworks performed by the authors in Spain from 2004 to 2018. The methodology includes the systematic collection of pictures and records of damages on man-made structures and on vegetation, as well as collection of any available Automatic Weather Station data, witness reports and images of the phenomenon and their location and orientation. Three final deliverables are proposed to synthesize the data recorded: (i) A summary of the fieldwork; (ii) A table consisting of detailed geolocated information about each damage, and (iii) A map or a .kml file containing the previous information ready for graphical display and further analysis. This methodology has been applied by the authors in the past, sometimes only a few hours after the event occurrence and, in many occasions, when the type of convective phenomenon (e.g. tornado, downburst) was uncertain. In the latter case the information resulting from this methodology has proofed very useful to discern the phenomenon type, based on the damage patterns particularly if no witness reports were available. The application of systematic methodologies as the one presented here is necessary in order to build homogeneous databases of severe weather cases and high impact weather events.

Oriol Rodríguez et al.
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Oriol Rodríguez et al.
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Short summary
Damage survey assessment data are used to study the consequences of natural hazards, as strong-convective winds (i.e. tornadoes, downbursts). The information gathered during a fieldwork can be used to characterize those events, which is necessary to build up and maintain robust and homogeneous databases of severe weather cases and high impact weather events. According to that, a methodology to carry out strong-convective wind events damage survey assessment is presented in this article.
Damage survey assessment data are used to study the consequences of natural hazards, as...
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