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Offshore wind speed estimates from a high‐resolution rapidly updating numerical weather prediction model forecast dataset

Abstract

In association with the Department of Energy–funded Position of Offshore Wind Energy Resources (POWER) project, we present results from compositing a 3-year dataset of 80-m (above ground level) wind forecasts from the 3-km High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model over offshore regions for the contiguous United States. The HRRR numerical weather prediction system runs once an hour and features hourly data assimilation, providing a key advantage over previous model-based offshore wind datasets. On the basis of 1-hour forecasts from the HRRR model, we highlight the different climatological regimes of the nearshore environment, characterizing the mean 80-m wind speed as well as the frequency of exceeding 4, 12, and 25 m s−1 for east and west coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Great Lake locations. Preliminary verification against buoy measurements demonstrates good agreement with observations. This dataset can inform the placement of targeted measurement systems in support of improving resource assessments and wind forecasts to advance offshore wind energy goals both in New England and other coastal regions of the United States.

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