Mixed Climatology, Non-synoptic Phenomena and Downburst Wind Loading of Structures

  • G. SolariEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 27)


Modern wind engineering was born in 1961, when Davenport published a paper in which meteorology, micrometeorology, climatology, bluff-body aerodynamics and structural dynamics were embedded within a homogeneous framework of the wind loading of structures called today “Davenport chain”. Idealizing the wind with a synoptic extra-tropical cyclone, this model was so simple and elegant as to become a sort of axiom. Between 1976 and 1977 Gomes and Vickery separated thunderstorm from non-thunderstorm winds, determined their disjoint extreme distributions and derived a mixed model later extended to other Aeolian phenomena; this study, which represents a milestone in mixed climatology, proved the impossibility of labelling a heterogeneous range of events by the generic term “wind”. This paper provides an overview of this matter, with particular regard to the studies conducted at the University of Genova on thunderstorm downbursts.


Downburst Extra-tropical cyclones Mixed climatology Non-synoptic phenomena Thunderstorm outflows Wind loading of structures 



This research is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 741273) for the project THUNDERR - Detection, simulation, modelling and loading of thunderstorm outflows to design wind-safer and cost-efficient structures – supported by an Advanced Grant 2016.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (DICCA), Polytechnic SchoolUniversity of GenovaGenoaItaly

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