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Title: Evaluation of Single-Doppler Radar Wind Retrievals in Flat and Complex Terrain

The accuracy of winds derived from NEXRAD level II data is assessed by comparison with independent observations from 915 MHz radar wind profilers. The evaluation is carried out at two locations with very different terrain characteristics. One site is located in an area of complex terrain within the State Line Wind Energy Center in northeast Oregon. The other site is located in an area of flat terrain on the east-central Florida coast. The National Severe Storm Laboratory’s 2DVar algorithm is used to retrieve wind fields from the KPDT (Pendleton OR) and KMLB (Melbourne FL) NEXRAD radars. Comparisons between the 2DVar retrievals and the radar profilers were conducted over a period of about 6 months and at multiple height levels at each of the profiler sites. Wind speed correlations at most observation height levels fell in the range from 0.7 to 0.8, indicating that the retrieved winds followed temporal fluctuations in the profiler-observed winds reasonably well. The retrieved winds, however, consistently exhibited slow biases in the range of1 to 2 ms-1. Wind speed difference distributions were broad with standard deviations in the range from 3 to 4 ms-1. Results from the Florida site showed little change in the wind speed correlationsmore » and difference standard deviations with altitude between about 300 and 1400 m AGL. Over this same height range, results from the Oregon site showed a monotonic increase in the wind speed correlation and a monotonic decrease in the wind speed difference standard deviation with increasing altitude. The poorest overall agreement occurred at the lowest observable level (~300 m AGL) at the Oregon site, where the effects of the complex terrain were greatest.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 53(8):1920–1931
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States