Mean Speed Profiles of Hurricane Winds

by Emil Simiu, (M.ASCE), Struct. Research Engr.; Center for Building Tech., National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.,
John F. Nash, Vice Pres.; Sybucon, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.,
V. C. Patel, Assoc. Prof.; Div. of Energy Engrg., Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 2, Pg. 265-273

Document Type: Journal Paper


A numerical solution of the hurricane boundary layer problem is presented in which the hurricane is modeled as a steady axisymmetric neutrally stratified flow. The results of the calculations obtained on the basis of the described model suggest that: (1) In the height range of interest to the structural designer, say up to a height of 400 m above the ground, it is permissible to use the logarithmic law to represent the mean velocity profile of hurricane winds; and (2) if the relation between wind speeds in different roughness regimes which is valid in extratropical storms is applied to hurricane winds, the speeds over built-up terrain, calculated as functions of speed over open terrain, may be underestimated by about 10% and 10%-20% in suburban and urban exposure, respectively. The corresponding mean loads are then underestimated by about 15% and 30%, respectively.

Subject Headings: Wind forces | Hurricanes and typhoons | Wind speed | Boundary layers | Numerical methods | Numerical models | Axisymmetry | Stratified flow

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