Sunday, 22 January 2012
The Impacts of Wind Energy on the Great Plains Low-Level Jet
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
There have been several modeling studies that have analyzed the regional and global impacts of wind farms on the atmosphere. While there have been considerable amounts of research related to the impacts of wind energy on the atmosphere, there has been a general lack of interest given to feedbacks on specific atmospheric processes, with the nocturnal low-level jet being one of these processes. The Great Plains region of the United States has been cited as being one the richest land-based wind energy resources in the US and is expected to be a major site for wind energy development. This study presents results from simulations conducted with the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model that show how the utilization of wind resources in the Great Plains region of the United States will potentially impact the southerly nocturnal low-level jet stream (LLJ), which is considered largely responsible for the flux of moisture into the central US. LLJ events being analyzed here are for the time period in which the Cooperative Atmosphere-Surface Exchange Study (CASES) was conducted in an effort to better understand nocturnal boundary layer characteristics.