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The Second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2): Observational Field Campaign

Abstract

The science of wind energy forecasting has taken a leap forward with the unique meteorological observations gathered in complex terrain during the Second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2)

The Second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funded program, with private-sector and university partners, which aims to improve the accuracy of numerical weather prediction (NWP) model forecasts of wind speed in complex terrain for wind energy applications. A core component of WFIP2 was an 18-month field campaign which took place in the U.S. Pacific Northwest between October 2015 and March 2017. A large suite of instrumentation was deployed in a series of telescoping arrays, ranging from 500 km across to a densely instrumented 2 x 2 km area similar in size to a high-resolution NWP model grid cell. Observations from these instruments are being used to improve our understanding of the meteorological phenomena that affect wind energy production in complex terrain, and to evaluate and improve model physical parameterization schemes. We present several brief case studies using these observations to describe phenomena that are routinely difficult to forecast, including wintertime cold pools, diurnally driven gap flows, and mountain waves/wakes. Observing system and data product improvements developed during WFIP2 are also described.

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