This paper presents new squall wind criteria for the Gulf of Mexico. Squalls are responsible for sudden rapid increases in wind speed and changes in wind direction, which can have a major impact upon vessels and offshore structures. These need to be quantified for operability assessments and structural design. Extreme squall wind gusts are estimated from many years of measured hourly maximum wind gusts, from the Continuous Winds dataset of the US National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) archive. Quality control was required to remove some anomalous high gust values. The new analysis supports key findings from a preliminary analysis first published in 2014, with a considerable reduction in uncertainty. The new 10-year return period estimates of squall winds (5 second gust at 10m elevation) are approximately 32 m/s. These exceed the corresponding value specified for a winter storm within API 2MET (27.7m/s). This has potential implications for operating criteria in the Gulf of Mexico.

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