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Title: Improving Wind Predictions in the Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer Through Parameter Estimation in a Single Column Model

A current barrier to greater deployment of offshore wind turbines is the poor quality of numerical weather prediction model wind and turbulence forecasts over open ocean. The bulk of development for atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) parameterization schemes has focused on land, partly due to a scarcity of observations over ocean. The 100-m FINO1 tower in the North Sea is one of the few sources worldwide of atmospheric profile observations from the sea surface to turbine hub height. These observations are crucial to developing a better understanding and modeling of physical processes in the marine ABL. In this paper we use the WRF single column model (SCM), coupled with an ensemble Kalman filter from the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART), to create 100-member ensembles at the FINO1 location. The goal of this study is to determine the extent to which model parameter estimation can improve offshore wind forecasts. Combining two datasets that provide lateral forcing for the SCM and two methods for determining z 0, the time-varying sea-surface roughness length, we conduct four WRF-SCM/DART experiments over the October-December 2006 period. The two methods for determining z 0 are the default Fairall-adjusted Charnock formulation in WRF, and using parameter estimation techniques tomore » estimate z 0 in DART. Using DART to estimate z 0 is found to reduce 1-h forecast errors of wind speed over the Charnock-Fairall z 0 ensembles by 4%–22%. Finally, however, parameter estimation of z 0 does not simultaneously reduce turbulent flux forecast errors, indicating limitations of this approach and the need for new marine ABL parameterizations.« less
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  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States). Research Applications Lab.
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Center (CENER), Sarriguren (Spain)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Monthly Weather Review
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Monthly Weather Review; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-0644
American Meteorological Society
Research Org:
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
Contributing Orgs:
National Renewable Energy Center (CENER), Sarriguren (Spain)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: