Numerical study for downburst wind and its load on high-rise building

  • Huang, Guoqing (School of Civil Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University) ;
  • Liu, Weizhan (School of Civil Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University) ;
  • Zhou, Qiang (School of Civil Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University) ;
  • Yan, Zhitao (School of Civil Engineering, Chongqing University) ;
  • Zuo, Delong (Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering, Texas Tech University)
  • Received : 2018.03.08
  • Accepted : 2018.06.29
  • Published : 2018.08.25


3D simulations based on an impinging jet were carried out to investigate the flow field of a steady downburst and its effects on a high-rise building by applying the SST k-${\omega}$ turbulence model. The vertical profile of radial wind speed obtained from the simulation was compared with experimental data and empirical models in order to validate the accuracy of the present numerical method. Then wind profiles and the influence of jet velocity and jet height were investigated. Focusing on a high-rise building, the flow structures around the building, pressure distributions on the building surfaces and aerodynamic forces were analyzed in order to enhance the understanding of wind load characteristics on a high-rise building immersed in a downburst.



Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China, Central Universities


  1. Aboshosha H., Elawady A., El Ansary A. and El Damatty A. (2016), "Review on dynamic and quasi-static buffeting response of transmission lines under synoptic and non-synoptic winds", Eng. Struct., 112, 23-46.
  2. Butler, K., Cao, S., Kareem, A., Tamura, Y. and Ozono, S. (2010), "Surface pressure and wind load characteristics on prisms immersed in a simulated transient gust front flow field", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 98(6), 299-316.
  3. Chay, M.T. and Letchford, C.W. (2002), "Pressure distributions on a cube in a simulated thunderstorm downburst-Part A: stationary downburst observations", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 90(7), 711-732.
  4. Choi, E.C.C. (2004), "Field measurement and experimental study of wind speed profile during thunderstorms", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 92(3), 275-290.
  5. De Gaetano, P., Repetto, M.P., Repetto, T. and Solari, G. (2014), "Separation and classification of extreme wind events from anemometric records", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 126, 132-143.
  6. Fluent (2005), FLUENT User's Guide, Release 6.2. Fluent Inc., Lebanon, New Hampshire.
  7. Fujita, T.T. (1985), Report of Projects NIMROD and JAWS. University of Chicago.
  8. Gast, K.D. and Schroeder, J.L. (2003), "Supercell rear-flank downdraft as sampled in the 2002 thunderstorm outflow experiment", Proceedings of the 11th Int. Conf. on Wind Eng., Lubbock , TX.
  9. Holmes, J.D. (1999), "Modeling of extreme thunderstorm winds for wind loading of structures and risk assessment", Wind engineering into the 21st century, (Eds., A. Larsen, G.L. Larose and F.M. Livesey), Balkema, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1409-1415.
  10. Holmes, J.D. and Oliver, S.E. (2000), "An empirical model of a downburst", Eng. Struct., 22(9), 1167-1172.
  11. Huang, G. and Chen, X. (2007), "Wind load effects and equivalent static wind loads of tall buildings based on synchronous pressure measurements", Eng. Struct., 29(10), 2641-2653.
  12. Huang, G., Zheng, H., Xu, Y. and Li, Y. (2015), "Spectrum models for nonstationary extreme winds", J. Struct. Eng.-ASCE, 141(10), 04015010.
  13. Kim, J. and Hangan, H. (2007), "Numerical simulations of impinging jets with application to downbursts", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 95(4), 279-298.
  14. Kim, Y. and Kanda, J. (2010), "Characteristics of aerodynamic forces and pressures on square plan buildings with height variations", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 98(8), 449-465.
  15. Lin, N., Letchford, C W., Tamura, Y., Liang, B. and Nakamura, O. (2005), "Characteristics of wind forces acting on tall buildings", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 93(3), 217-242.
  16. Lombardo, F.T., Smith, D.A., Schroeder, J.L. and Mehta, K.C. (2014), "Thunderstorm characteristics of importance to wind engineering", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 125, 121-132.
  17. Mason, M.S., Wood, G.S. and Fletcher, D.F. (2009), "Numerical simulation of downburst winds", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 97(11), 523-539.
  18. McConville, A.C., Sterling, M. and Baker, C.J. (2009), "The physical simulation of thunderstorm downbursts using an impinging jet", Wind Struct., 12(2), 133-149.
  19. Menter, F.R. (1992), "Performance of popular turbulence model for attached and separated adverse pressure gradient flows", AIAA J., 30(8), 2066-2072.
  20. Menter, F.R. (1994), "Two-equation eddy-viscosity turbulence models for engineering applications", AIAA J., 32(8), 1598-1605.
  21. Peng, L., Huang, G., Chen, X. and Yang, Q. (2018), "Evolutionary spectra-based time-varying coherence function and application in structural response analysis to downburst winds", J. Struct. Eng., 144(7), 04018078.
  22. Selvam, R.P. and Holmes, J.D. (1992), "Numerical simulation of thunderstorm downdrafts", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 44(1-3), 2817-2825.
  23. Sengupta, A. and Sarkar P.P. (2008), "Experimental measurement and numerical simulation of an impinging jet with application to thunderstorm microburst winds", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 96(3), 345-365.
  24. Shehata, A.Y., EI Damatty, A. and Savory, E. (2005), "Finite element modeling of transmission line under downburst wind loading", Finite Elem. Anal. Des., 42(1), 71-89.
  25. Sim, T.S., Ong, M.C., Quek, W.Y., Sum, Z.W., Lai, W.X. and Skote, M. (2016), "A numerical study of microburst-like wind load acting on different block array configurations using an impinging jet model", J. Fluid. Struct., 61, 184-204.
  26. Solari, G., De Gaetano, P. and Repetto, M.P. (2015), "Thunderstorm response spectrum: fundamentals and case study", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 143, 62-77.
  27. Vicroy, D.D. (1991), A simple, analytical, asymmetric microburst model for downdraft estimation, NASA Technical Memorandum 104053.
  28. Wood, G.S., Kwok, K C.S., Motteram, N.A. and Fletcher, DF. (2001), "Physical and numerical modeling of thunderstorm downbursts", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 89(6), 535-552.
  29. Xu, Z. and Hangan, H. (2008), "Scale, boundary and inlet condition effects on impinging jets", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 96(12), 2383-2402.
  30. Yang, Q., Gao, R., Bai, F., Li, T. and Tamura, Y. (2018), "Damage to buildings and structures due to recent devastating wind hazards in East Asia", Nat. Hazards, 1-33.
  31. Zhang, Y., Sarkar, P. and Hu, H. (2014), "An experimental study on wind loads acting on a high-rise building model induced by microburst-like winds", J. Fluid. Struct., 50, 547-564.

Cited by

  1. Thunderstorm Downbursts and Wind Loading of Structures: Progress and Prospect vol.6, pp.None, 2020,
  2. TMD effectiveness for steel high-rise building subjected to wind or earthquake including soil-structure interaction vol.30, pp.4, 2018,