Characterization Of Mesoscale Variability in WRF - a Coastal Low-level Jet Case Study

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Ken Tay, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore; and J. K. Lundquist, M. Skote, and T. Y. Koh

Mesoscale weather models have increasingly been featured in wind resource assessment development. The incorporation of real meteorological conditions into such assessments allow a more realistic, physical determination of the wind loads that will be experienced within a wind farm site. Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) confers the advantage of representing finer scale turbulence, such as wake effects. However, nesting LES within real mesoscale simulations is still in the nascent stage of development. One of the difficulties lies in providing accurate mesoscale forcing boundaries for the LES domain. This study aims to characterize the mesoscale variability in WRF to lay the groundwork for future mesoscale-LES nested simulations. A low-level jet (LLJ) event that was observed during the CBLAST-Low 2001 campaign (07 Aug to 09 Aug) provides a robust case study to test the capabilities of and characterize the mesoscale variabilities in WRF. The dynamical interaction of a frontal passage with a stable boundary layer over a coastal region makes this an interesting and challenging case for real mesoscale simulation and future LES nested simulations. Sensitivities to vertical resolution, PBL schemes and initial forcing datasets were tested. This presentation will describe and explain the factors that influence the simulation of this frontal passage and the resulting LLJ. The initial forcing datasets have a major influence on spatial and temporal characteristics, as seen in Figure 1, introducing larger differences than the PBL schemes do. Furthermore, the mesoscale simulation also showed a strong dependence on the vertical resolution: increasing the vertical resolution within the atmospheric boundary layer resulted in a more accurate vertical profile for wind speed. Lastly, the simulations did show a dependency on the PBL scheme selected however, the variability between PBL schemes were not large, especially compared to the variability introduced by the boundary and initial conditions.