Storm gust prediction with the integration of machine learning algorithms and WRF model variables for the Northeast United States

Israt Jahan aDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, United States

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Diego Cerrai aDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, United States
cEversource Energy Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, United States

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Marina Astitha aDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, United States
bNational Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Research Applications Laboratory, Boulder, CO
cEversource Energy Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, United States

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Abstract

Wind gusts are often associated with severe hazards and can cause structural and environmental damages, making gust prediction a crucial element of weather forecasting services. In this study, we explored the utilization of machine learning (ML) algorithms integrated with numerical weather prediction outputs from the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF), to align the estimation of wind gust potential with observed gusts. We have used two ML algorithms, namely Random Forest (RF), and Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGB), along with two statistical techniques: Generalized Linear Models with identity link function (GLM-Identity) and log link function (GLM-Log), to predict storm wind gusts for the NE USA. We used 61 simulated extratropical and tropical storms that occurred between 2005 and 2020, to develop and validate the ML and statistical models. To assess the ML model performance, we compared our results with post-processed gust potential from WRF. Our findings showed that ML models, especially XGB, performed significantly better than statistical models and WRF-UPP, and were able to better align predicted with observed gusts across all storms. The ML models faced challenges capturing the upper tail of the gust distribution, and the learning curves suggested that XGB was more effective than RF in generating better predictions with fewer storms.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: marina.astitha@uconn.edu

Abstract

Wind gusts are often associated with severe hazards and can cause structural and environmental damages, making gust prediction a crucial element of weather forecasting services. In this study, we explored the utilization of machine learning (ML) algorithms integrated with numerical weather prediction outputs from the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF), to align the estimation of wind gust potential with observed gusts. We have used two ML algorithms, namely Random Forest (RF), and Extreme Gradient Boosting (XGB), along with two statistical techniques: Generalized Linear Models with identity link function (GLM-Identity) and log link function (GLM-Log), to predict storm wind gusts for the NE USA. We used 61 simulated extratropical and tropical storms that occurred between 2005 and 2020, to develop and validate the ML and statistical models. To assess the ML model performance, we compared our results with post-processed gust potential from WRF. Our findings showed that ML models, especially XGB, performed significantly better than statistical models and WRF-UPP, and were able to better align predicted with observed gusts across all storms. The ML models faced challenges capturing the upper tail of the gust distribution, and the learning curves suggested that XGB was more effective than RF in generating better predictions with fewer storms.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: marina.astitha@uconn.edu
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