Texas Tech University

Project SCOUT: Thunderstorm Wind Research

TTUKa1 Thunderstorm Deployment Image2Field Site ThunderstormLubbock wind damgeBow echo research


To address the need for high-resolution thunderstorm outflow observations, Project SCOUT (Severe Convective OUtflow in Thunderstorms) was designed. For this data collection effort, Texas Tech University (TTU) observational assets were employed to gather collocated wind profile and surface measurements in thunderstorms capable of producing damaging outflow winds. The TTUKa mobile Doppler radars not only provided meteorological context of an outflow event, but the combined data from both systems also allowed for the computation of dual-Doppler wind speed and direction profiles. While these measurements are novel and provide a wealth of information, near-surface dual-Doppler measurements are often difficult to acquire due to ground clutter and variable terrain. Thus, a fleet of 24 rapidly deployable measurement platforms, StickNet, obtained high resolution measurements at approximately 2.25 m. Deployment strategies for both platforms were uniquely designed to take into account different thunderstorm types (e.g. supercell thunderstorms, mesoscale convective systems, etc.) as well as focus data collection efforts on obtaining information relevant to wind engineering.

During the spring of 2011, the nomadic phase of project SCOUT targeted thunderstorm events deemed capable of producing severe wind throughout the Great Plains. While multiple datasets were collected from a variety of thunderstorms, few exhibited the extreme winds that were the impetus of the project. Regardless, many of these datasets included coupled observations from all StickNet platforms and both radars. The nomadic phase of Project SCOUT ended in late June 2011, but local data collection efforts continued through Spring 2015. These efforts were more successful in collecting data relevant for design. Overall, data were collected in 23 thunderstorm outflow events during Project SCOUT and beyond. There were several cases in which radar deployments were made without StickNet, or where only a small subset of the StickNet Fleet was available for deployment. See the following table for more information.

SCOUT Datasets

Date Event Location Peak Instantaneous 2 m Wind Speed (m s-1) # StickNet Towers / # Radars
05/22/2011 Prosper, TX 18.0 24 / 2
05/24/2011 Nash, OK 20.1 24 / 2
05/30/2011 Humboldt, SD 20.5 22 / 2
05/30/2011 Worthington, MN N/A 0 / 2
06/01/2011 Tescott, KS 21.0 24 / 2
06/03/2011 Hoxie, KS 17.5 23 / 2
06/11/2011 Syracuse, KS 22.9 22 / 2
06/16/2011 Idalia, CO 20.4 24 / 2
06/17/2011 Peabody, KS 19.2 24 / 2
06/18/2011 Cheyenne Wells, CO 25.5 24 / 2
06/19/2011 McCook, NE 25.5 24 / 0
11/08/2011 Truscott, TX 18.0 12 / 2
03/19/2012 Reese Center, TX 35.0 5 / 2
04/12/2012 Tahoka, TX 16.0 8 / 1
05/30/2012 Coldwater, KS 28.0 9 / 1
06/04/2012 Reese Center, TX N/A 0 / 2
06/12/2012 Hart, TX 30.0 9 / 2
06/15/2012 Reese Center, TX N/A 0 / 2
05/23/2013 Roscoe, TX 22.5 8 / 0
06/05/2013 Pep, TX 39.1 9 / 2
05/11/2014 St. John, KS N/A 0 / 2
04/22/2015 Happy, TX 26.5 7 / 1
05/14/2015 Reese Center, TX 21.8 7 / 1



Gunter, W.S. and J.L. Schroeder, 2015: High-resolution full-scale measurements of thunderstorm outflow winds. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn., 138, 13-26.

Gunter, W.S., J.L. Schroeder, and B.D. Hirth, 2015: Validation of dual-Doppler wind profiles with in situ anemometry. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 32, 943-960.

Selected Presentations

Gunter, W.S., and J.L. Schroeder, 2012: "High-Resolution Full-Scale Observations of Thunderstorm Outflow Winds", 3rd Annual AAWE Workshop, Hyannis, Massachusetts.

Skinner, P.S., C.C. Weiss, W.S. Gunter, and J.L. Schroeder, 2012: "Near-Surface Thunderstorm Outflow Characteristics Observed by the TTUKa Mobile Doppler Radars", 26th Conference on Severe Local Storms, Nashville, Tennessee.

Gunter, W.S. and J.L. Schroeder, 2012: "High-Resolution Full-Scale Observations of Thunderstorm Outflow Winds", 26th Conference on Severe Local Storms, Nashville, Tennessee.

Gunter, W.S., and J.L. Schroeder, 2013: "High-Resolution Full-Scale Observations of Thunderstorm Outflow Winds", 12th Americas Conference on Wind Engineering, Seattle, Washington.

Gunter, W.S. and J.L. Schroeder, 2014: "Low-Level Wind Profiles and Surface Observations of Extreme Thunderstorm Winds", Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference, Toronto, Ontario.

Gunter, W.S., and J.L. Schroeder, 2015: "Dual-Doppler Radar and Surface Measurements of Thunderstorm Outflow Winds", International Conference on Wind Engineering, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Data Access

Project SCOUT and collection of the associated data were funded by the National Science Foundation Grant CMMI 1000160. The raw platform data from Project SCOUT are freely available for independent analysis. Please contact Dr. Scott Gunter for more information.

Contact: scott.gunter@ttu.edu| w.scott.gunter@gmail.com