Sunday, 23 January 2011
The Nocturnal Low Level Jet (NLLJ) is a significant contributor to overnight wind power production in the Southern Great Plains. This region of the United States is expecting wind farm growth over the coming decades and therefore it is important to better understand how to forecast wind energy, and hence forecast the location and strength of the NLLJ. The Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) is one tool that can be used for forecasting winds. This study investigates performance of a real-time, high-resolution (3-km grid spacing) configuration of the WRF for several NLLJ cases in southwest Oklahoma. Forecast location and intensity of the NLLJ and its interaction with moderate terrain features around the Blue Canyon Wind Farm, particularly the Wichita Mountains and Slick Hills, were evaluated. These model forecasts also provide insight into the relationship between NLLJ behavior as a function of wind magnitude and atmospheric stability. The study finds that errors in model forecasted boundary layer stability coupled with NLLJ terrain interactions could be the reason for wind forecast errors at Blue Canyon.
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