Numerical investigation of the influence of topography on simulated downburst wind fields

Matthew S. Mason*, Graeme S. Wood, David F. Fletcher

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    A, dry, non-hydrostatic sub-cloud model is used to simulate an isolated stationary downburst wind event to study the influence topographic features have on the near-ground wind structure of these storms. It was generally found that storm maximum wind speeds could be increased by up to 30% because of the presence of a topographic feature at the location of maximum wind speeds. Comparing predicted velocity profile amplification with that of a steady flow impinging jet, similar results were found despite the simplifications made in the impinging jet model. Comparison of these amplification profiles with those found in the simulated boundary layer winds reveal reductions of up to 30% in the downburst cases. Downburst and boundary layer amplification profiles were shown to become more similar as the topographic feature height was reduced with respect to the outflow depth.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-33
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


    • Downburst
    • Escarpment
    • Hill
    • Microburst
    • Thunderstorm
    • Thunderstorm outflow
    • Topography


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