Climate & High Impact Weather Science Highlights
Extreme windstorms can have huge socioeconomic impacts. The strong winds associated with extreme windstorms can lead to substantial loss of life and damage to national infrastructure like roads and powerlines.
The National Centre for Atmospheric Science is leading substantial research activity into understanding extreme windstorms and their impacts, including international observational campaigns, high-resolution computer models, and risk management for insurance, oil and gas companies.
Our scientists have led and contributed to international field campaigns looking at how extreme windstorms develop. During the DIAMET campaign, the FAAM aircraft made the first aircraft observations of a Sting Jet, an area of extremely strong winds embedded within Storm Friedhelm. This intense storm left 150,000 Scottish homes without power in 2011.
In partnership with the Met Office, the NCAS high-resolution modelling programme has been leading the development of high-resolution global climate models to better understand how extreme weather might respond to climate change.
Using these models will allow scientists to more robustly address questions such as how will extreme windstorms and processes such as Sting Jets change in a warmer climate?
Our investigations into extreme windstorms is being applied in industry to improve assessments of windstorm risk. We have been working with companies such as BP to understand the risks and improve the resilience of offshore infrastructure in the North Sea.
Through collaboration with partners such as AON Benfield, NCAS has been improving our understanding of how windstorms cluster in time, which can lead to substantially increased insurance risks.