Tornado Risks and Design Wind Speed

by Yi-Kwei Wen, Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL,
Shih-Lung Chu, (M.ASCE), Head; Struct. Analytical Div., Sargent and Lundy Engrs., Chicago, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 12, Pg. 2409-2421

Document Type: Journal Paper


An analytical method of assessing tornado risks is presented whereby the probability of a tornado striking a given point with a maximum wind speed exceeding a prescribed value can be evaluated. An illustrative example of the application of this method to structural design is given. The results indicate that in design of structures with stringent safety requirements, tornadoes present much higher risks than ordinary winds in areas with high tornado frequency. Thus under these circumstances, effects of tornadoes are really the controlling factors in wind-resistant design of structures.

Subject Headings: Tornadoes | Wind loads | Wind speed | Structural safety | Risk management | Probability | Structural analysis

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