Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2023-152
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2023-152
05 Dec 2023
 | 05 Dec 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal WES and is expected to appear here in due course.

Offshore low-level jet observations and model representation using lidar buoy data off the California coast

Lindsay M. Sheridan, Raghavendra Krishnamurthy, William I. Gustafson Jr., Ye Liu, Brian J. Gaudet, Nicola Bodini, Rob K. Newsom, and Mikhail Pekour

Abstract. Low-level jets (LLJs) occur under a variety of atmospheric conditions and influence the available wind resource for wind energy projects. In 2020, lidar-mounted buoys owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) were deployed off the California coast in two wind energy lease areas administered by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management: Humboldt and Morro Bay. The wind profile observations from the lidars and collocated near-surface meteorological stations (4 m – 240 m) provide valuable year-long analyses of offshore LLJ characteristics at heights relevant to wind turbines. At Humboldt, LLJs were associated with flow reversals and north-northeasterly winds, directions that are more aligned with terrain influences than the predominant northerly flow. At Morro Bay, coastal LLJs were observed primarily during northerly flow as opposed to the predominant north-northwesterly flow. LLJs were observed more frequently in colder seasons within the lowest 250 m above sea level, in contrast with the summertime occurrence of the higher altitude California coastal jet influenced by the North Pacific High.

The lidar buoy observations also support the validation of LLJ representation in atmospheric models that are essential for assessing the potential energy yield of offshore wind farms. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Reanalysis version 5 (ERA5) was unsuccessful at identifying all observed LLJs at both buoy locations within the lowest 200 m. An extension of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 20-year wind resource dataset for the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California (CA20-Ext) yielded marginally greater captures of observed LLJs using the Mellor–Yamada–Nakanishi–Niino (MYNN) planetary boundary layer (PBL) scheme than the 2023 National Offshore Wind data set (NOW-23) which uses the Yonsei University (YSU) scheme. However, CA20-Ext also produced the most LLJ false alarms. CA20-Ext and NOW-23 exhibited a tendency to overestimate the duration of LLJ events and underestimate LLJ core heights.

Lindsay M. Sheridan, Raghavendra Krishnamurthy, William I. Gustafson Jr., Ye Liu, Brian J. Gaudet, Nicola Bodini, Rob K. Newsom, and Mikhail Pekour

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2023-152', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Dec 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Lindsay Sheridan, 02 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2023-152', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Dec 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Lindsay Sheridan, 02 Feb 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on wes-2023-152', Anonymous Referee #3, 12 Jan 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Lindsay Sheridan, 02 Feb 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2023-152', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Dec 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Lindsay Sheridan, 02 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2023-152', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Dec 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Lindsay Sheridan, 02 Feb 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on wes-2023-152', Anonymous Referee #3, 12 Jan 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Lindsay Sheridan, 02 Feb 2024
Lindsay M. Sheridan, Raghavendra Krishnamurthy, William I. Gustafson Jr., Ye Liu, Brian J. Gaudet, Nicola Bodini, Rob K. Newsom, and Mikhail Pekour
Lindsay M. Sheridan, Raghavendra Krishnamurthy, William I. Gustafson Jr., Ye Liu, Brian J. Gaudet, Nicola Bodini, Rob K. Newsom, and Mikhail Pekour

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Short summary
In 2020, lidar-mounted buoys owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) were deployed off the California coast in two wind energy lease areas and provided valuable year-long analyses of offshore low-level jet (LLJ) characteristics at heights relevant to wind turbines. In addition to the LLJ climatology, this work provides validation of LLJ representation in atmospheric models that are essential for assessing the potential energy yield of offshore wind farms.
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