Influence of a Community of Buildings on Tornadic Wind Fields


To determine tornadic wind loads, the wind pressure, forces and moments induced by tornadoes on civil structures have been studied. However, in most previous studies, only the individual building of interest was included in the wind field, which may be suitable to simulate the case where a tornado strikes rural areas. The statistical data has indicated that tornadoes induce more significant fatalities and property loss when they attack densely populated areas. To simulate this case, all buildings in the community of interest should be included in the wind field. However, this has been rarely studied. To bridge this research gap, this study will systematically investigate the influence of a community of buildings on tornadic wind fields by modeling all buildings in the community into the wind field (designated as "the Community case under tornadic winds"). For comparison, the case in which only a single building is included in the tornadic wind field (designated as "the Single-building case under tornadic winds") and the case where a community of buildings are included in the equivalent straight-line wind field (designated as "the Community case under straight-line winds") are also simulated. The results demonstrate that the presence of a number of buildings completely destroys the pattern of regular circular strips in the distribution of tangential velocity and pressure on horizontal planes. Above the roof height, the maximum tangential velocity is lower in the Community case under tornadic winds than that in the Single-building case under tornadic winds because of the higher surface friction in the Community case; below the roof height, greater tangential velocity and pressure are observed in the Community case under tornadic wind fields, and more unfavorable conditions are observed in the Community case under tornadic winds than under the equivalent straight-line winds.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Second Research Center/Lab

Intelligent Systems Center

Keywords and Phrases

Computational Fluid Dynamics; Gable-Roofed Buildings; Straight-Line Wind; Translating Tornadic Wind Fields

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Feb 2020