UCL Wind Hazard Data

Maps windstorm gust return levels and gust footprints for the whole UK

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Facing the windstorm challenge

Extreme winds are a major peril for the UK insurance industry and are a significant hazard for the UK infrastructure sector. Statistics from the Association of British Insurers for the period 1998 to 2013 show that windstorms were responsible for 45% of UK household weather-related insurance claims compared to 30% attributable to flood. Despite the impact of extreme winds, current estimates of wind hazard across the UK disagree, lack spatial resolution and are underpinned by model outputs.

Hazard Maps

Highest Spatial Area Resolution for UK Wind Hazard

UK windstorm 50-yr gust return level

UCL has developed three UK windstorm data products termed collectively UK 100 m resolution windstorm data. These data map windstorm gust return levels and gust footprints on a 100 m grid for the whole UK including Northern Ireland, and robustly catalogue UK windstorm occurrence. The mapping products offer almost 2000 times better spatial area resolution than the current state-of-the-art grid resolution of 4.4 km for UK windstorm data.

The UK 100m resolution windstorm data are based on historical observations that are carefully cleaned and corrected to ensure spatial and temporal consistency. The products include the influence of terrain and upstream surface roughness on 3-second wind gust thereby allowing the sizeable small-scale perturbations on wind hazard to be resolved. The UK 100m resolution windstorm data have been independently tested and licensed by the Direct Line Group.

UCL map zoomed-in

UCL UK windstorm 50 year gust return level (mph) for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and for the area around Winchester (zoomed). The influence of terrain and upstream surface roughness on local gust return levels is evident. The previous state-of-the-art spatial resolution of 4.4 km is shown for reference.


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