[Bldg-sim] Tracking Hurricane Florence through the Wilmington weather file

David Eldridge DEldridge at grummanbutkus.com
Mon Sep 17 15:29:52 PDT 2018

Concur with your earlier email Joe, the selection criteria and weighting I think would tend to solve itself, but if these months did get into the selection – then they should be in the selection?

The example of excluding data during volcanic eruption makes sense – weather was affected globally by those events over the course of several years. Hurricanes are big, but relatively short duration in terms of weather and affecting weather stations within an area to some degree and gradually less as you get further inland….how would we decide which get blocked out? I say let the statistics take care of it.

Looking at a future need for “resiliency weather files” this might be interesting to have a flag that shows times when a building expects to run generators, or incur irregular business operations.

Anyone down the road calibrating a model in Wilmington NC during 2019 looking back at the actual weather data for 2018 would need to know that there was a storm event that caused business to be suspended and/or power to go out – or in the case of the hospitals and civic buildings maybe the energy use and occupancy goes up due to continual operation / increased loads from displaced people.

It could be a legitimate question for ESCO funded projects looking at their models “what happens if” due to storm events. Did the building run more or less efficiently (and resiliently) after some upgrade? What’s the correction to be made for any contract based on the savings. Maybe more for federal facilities that embrace this project delivery method.


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From: Bldg-sim [mailto:bldg-sim-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org] On Behalf Of Joe Huang via Bldg-sim
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2018 4:25 PM
To: Nicholas Caton <Nicholas.Caton at schneider-electric.com>; Linda Lawrie <linda at fortlawrie.com>
Cc: bldg-sim at onebuilding.org
Subject: Re: [Bldg-sim] Tracking Hurricane Florence through the Wilmington weather file


Nice to read your comments.  The reason I'm skeptical of attempts to unilaterally weed out extreme events from "typical year" data is that our definition of what comprises an extreme event can change over time.   If we are to believe the scientific consensus on climate change, extreme events would be more frequent and longer lasting in the future.  If the frequency gets high enough so that there's one extreme event a month - not necessarily a hurricane but rather a tropical storm or heat wave - then shouldn't such an event be reflected in the "typical year" weather file?  I'd like to see the "typical year" methodology modified from producing the most typical weather of the past X number of years, to what would be  the the most likely typical weather for the future.


Joe Huang

White Box Technologies, Inc.

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On 9/17/2018 12:24 PM, Nicholas Caton wrote:
To layer on to and supplement Joe’s response,  I think another neat factoid to consider is that while the TMY protocol generally does not exclude any specific months on the merits of “extreme” weather/climate events (which is good and rigorous from a statistical viewpoint), there were two historical volcanic events that have caused specific periods to be excluded from files in the NREL TMY3 set:  The eruptions of El Chichón, Mexico in 1982 and Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines in 1991.

These events had substantial effects in reducing solar radiation measured in the United States due to aerosols pushed into the atmosphere, and as a result there are a net of ~6 years pulled out of the historical record to exclude periods following those events, for the purpose of establishing the months of data considered for the TMY “pools.”

A fun (?) takeaway is that when the next major volcanic event occurs, we as a community are going to have a lot to talk about in considering the merits and application of the established TMY protocol against some other approach to incorporate the weather measurements on record for those excluded periods!


[cid:image001.png at 01D44EA5.56DDE4E0]
Nick Caton, P.E., BEMP
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  Schneider Electric

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From: Bldg-sim <bldg-sim-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org><mailto:bldg-sim-bounces at lists.onebuilding.org> On Behalf Of Joe Huang via Bldg-sim
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2018 12:20 PM
To: Linda Lawrie <linda at fortlawrie.com><mailto:linda at fortlawrie.com>
Cc: bldg-sim at onebuilding.org<mailto:bldg-sim at onebuilding.org>
Subject: Re: [Bldg-sim] Tracking Hurricane Florence through the Wilmington weather file

[External email: Use caution with links and attachments]


Larry, Linda, others,

Average daily wind speed has always been one of the parameters used to select "typical months" in the TMY methodology used by NREL that others like me have followed to create the IWEC2s, etc. Its weight, however, is low compared to the cumulative weights for temperature (average, max, min dry-bulb), humidity (average, max, min dewpoint), and solar ( average global horizontal and sometimes also direct normal irradiance). The other thing to consider is that the TMY methodology does not exclude any month due to outliers, but looks at the difference in the cumulative distribution of these daily parameters to the long-term distribution, and picks that month with the best correspondence of CFDs. Thus, it is possible that a month with an extreme event might still be selected, but the fact that a hurricane affects all 8 or 9 parameters and can extend over several days makes it unlikely. On the other hand, if the statistics were to pick a month with a hurricane, is that really a problem? One of the things I like about the TMY methodology is that it aims to pick a month with the most representative distribution of conditions, not the blandest month with no peaks and valleys.

Sent from my iPad

On Sep 16, 2018, at 7:52 AM, Linda Lawrie via Bldg-sim <bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org<mailto:bldg-sim at lists.onebuilding.org>> wrote:

Wind Speed is not usually one of the items for selection of TMYs but one would hope that other factors might disregard those events/months.

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