Regional Modeling of Windstorms and Lightning

Full Title

Regional Modeling of Windstorms and Lightning

Project Overview

Wind is the most common weather-related cause of outages for City Light’s transmission and distribution system. Current design, maintenance, and emergency response of the system are based on historical windstorm seasonality, direction, frequency, and intensity (i.e. wind speed). Changes in regional climate are projected to alter windstorm patters and lightning frequency, potentially shifting the frequency and intensity of outages in City Light’s service area. Information on projected changes in wind under future climate scenarios can help inform both short and long-term adaptation strategies to reduce vulnerability to wind. Through the use of global climate and regional weather models this research will provide Seattle City Light with information regarding how climate change may affect windstorm and lightning frequency in the area of western Washington containing City Light’s generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure.

Percent change in 95th percentile winds from 1970-2000 to 2040-2070 for three Weather Research and Forecasting simulations for Dec-Jan-Feb.
Percent change in 95th percentile winds from 1970-2000 to 2040-2070 for three Weather Research and Forecasting simulations for Dec-Jan-Feb.

Salathe & Mauger Simulation 2 Salathe & Mauger Simulation 3


 Key Personnel

* Indicates CIG Personnel or CIG Affiliate(s)

  • Eric Salathé (Principal Investigator), University of Washington*
  • Guillaume Mauger, University of Washington*

Key Collaborators

Clifford Mass, University of Washington; Rick Steed, University of Washington; Brigid Dotson, University of Washington

Funder(s)

Seattle City Light

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