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Title: Investigation of boundary-layer wind predictions during nocturnal low-level jet events using the Weather Research and Forecasting model

Simulations of two periods featuring three consecutive low level jet (LLJ) events in the US Upper Great Plains during the autumn of 2011 were conducted to explore the impacts of various setup configurations and physical process models on simulated flow parameters within the lowest 200 m above the surface, using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Sensitivities of simulated flow parameters to the horizontal and vertical grid spacing, planetary boundary layer (PBL) and land surface model (LSM) physics options, were assessed. Data from a Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) system, deployed to the Weather Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP; Finley et al. 2013) were used to evaluate the accuracy of simulated wind speed and direction at 80 m above the surface, as well as their vertical distributions between 120 and 40 m, covering the typical span of contemporary tall wind turbines. All of the simulations qualitatively captured the overall diurnal cycle of wind speed and stratification, producing LLJs during each overnight period, however large discrepancies occurred at certain times for each simulation in relation to the observations. 54-member ensembles encompassing changes of the above discussed configuration parameters displayed a wide range of simulated vertical distributions of wind speed and direction,more » and potential temperature, reflecting highly variable representations of stratification during the weakly stable overnight conditions. Root mean square error (RMSE) statistics show that different ensemble members performed better and worse in various simulated parameters at different times, with no clearly superior configuration . Simulations using a PBL parameterization designed specifically for the stable conditions investigated herein provided superior overall simulations of wind speed at 80 m, demonstrating the efficacy of targeting improvements of physical process models in areas of known deficiencies. However, the considerable magnitudes of the RMSE values of even the best performing simulations indicate ample opportunities for further improvements.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Wind Energy, 19(4):739-762
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States