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  • Author or Editor: Brian J. Morrison x
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Graeme K. Mather
Brian J. Morrison
, and
Griffith M. Morgan Jr.


For the past three years, a Learjet has been making microphysical measurements in new cloud development on the flanks of multicellular storms in the eastern Transvaal area of South Africa. Data from an imaging probe and a forward scattering spectrometer have been averaged for each storm for all first cloud penetrations between −8° and −12°C. Clear images of drops of diameters greater than 300 μm are found in 40% of the 42 storms measured.

Most of the observed drops are associated with the more “maritime” droplet spectra. Also, the appearance of coalescence around −10°C appears to be related to cloud base temperatures and buoyancies, rather than changes in air masses, suggesting that cloud thermodynamics may play a dominant role in determining cloud microphysics in the Nelspruit area.

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Brian N. Belcher
Arthur T. DeGaetano
Forrest J. Masters
Jay Crandell
, and
Murray J. Morrison


A method is presented to obtain the climatology of extreme wind speeds coincident with the occurrence of rain. The simultaneous occurrence of wind and rain can force water through building wall components such as windows, resulting in building damage and insured loss. To quantify this hazard, extreme value distributions are fit to peak 3-s wind speed data recorded during 1-min intervals with specific reported rain intensities. This improves upon previous attempts to quantify the wind-driven rain hazard that computed wind speed and rainfall-intensity probabilities independently and used hourly data that cannot assure the simultaneous occurrence of peak wind that represents only a several-second interval within the hour and rain that is accumulated over the entire hour. The method is applied across the southeastern United States, where the wind-driven rain hazard is most pronounced. For the lowest rainfall intensities, the computed wind speed extremes agree with published values that ignore rainfall occurrence. Such correspondence is desirable for aligning the rain-intensity-dependent wind speed return periods with established extreme wind statistics. Maximum 50-yr return-period wind speeds in conjunction with rainfall intensities ≥0.254 mm min−1 exceed 45 m s−1 in a swath from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast and at stations along the immediate Atlantic coast. For rainfall intensities >2.54 mm min−1 maximum, 50-yr return-period wind speeds decrease to 35 m s−1 but occur over a similar area. The methodology is also applied to stations outside the Southeast to demonstrate its applicability for incorporating the wind-driven rain hazard in U.S. building standards.

Significance Statement

Rainfall driven horizontally by strong winds can penetrate building components and cladding. If unmanaged, this can directly damage the building and its contents and become a substantial component of insured losses to buildings. A climatology of wind-driven rain is developed from recently available 1-min weather observations that better represent the joint occurrence of the extremes that define wind-driven rain occurrence than hourly data. This work is a first implementation of 1-min data into extreme-value statistical models, providing a basis for including wind-driven rain in United States building codes. This inclusion would be most significant in the hurricane-prone regions of the southeastern United States. The omission of wind-driven rain in U.S. building codes contrasts to its inclusion in Europe and Canada.

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