Publication Date

Summer 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Joshua D. Durkee (Director), Dr. Kevin Cary, and Dr. Gregory Goodrich

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


High-wind events (HWE) occur across every region of the United States (U.S.) and result in hundreds of fatalities, as well as thousands of dollars in damages annually. HWEs are classified as sustained high-winds or high-wind gusts and can be generated from convective or non-convective weather systems. This study investigates high-wind observations across the eastern U.S. during a 43-year climatological period (1973-2015) for spatial and temporal variations in wind speed and direction. Hourly surface wind observations were gathered from the National Centers for Environmental Information Data Center Integrated Surface Database (NCEI-ISD). This dataset includes qualitycontrolled wind observations from 391 first-order weather stations in the eastern U.S. Findings show that HWEs were most concentrated in the High Plains and fewer convective HWEs occurred during the study period compared to non-convective. Convective and non-convective sustained HWE frequency and mean wind-speeds declined during the study period while gust HWE frequencies and speeds increased. The purpose of this study is to develop an extensive climatological understanding of convective and non-convective high-wind events to mitigate associated damages and fatalities caused by these events.


Climate | Geographic Information Sciences | Meteorology