Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2024-48
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2024-48
03 Jun 2024
 | 03 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Offshore wind farms modify low-level jets

Daphne Quint, Julie K. Lundquist, and David Rosencrans

Abstract. Offshore wind farms are scheduled to be constructed along the east coast of the United States in the coming years. Low-level jets (LLJs) – layers of relatively fast winds at low altitudes – also occur frequently in this region. Because LLJs provide considerable wind resources, it is important to understand how LLJs might change with turbine construction. LLJs also influence moisture and pollution transport; thus, the effects of wind farms on LLJs could also affect the region’s meteorology. We compare one year of simulations from the Weather Research and Forecasting model with and without wind farms incorporated, focusing on locations chosen by their proximity to future wind development areas. We develop and present an algorithm to detect LLJs at each hour of the year at each of these locations. We validate the algorithm to the extent possible by comparing LLJS identified by lidar, constrained to the lowest 200 m, to WRF simulations of these very low LLJs. In the NOW-23 dataset, we find offshore LLJs in this region occur most frequently at night, in the spring and summer months, in stably stratified conditions, and when a southwesterly wind is blowing. LLJ wind speed maxima range from 10 m s-1 to over 40 m s-1. The altitude of maximum wind speed, or jet "nose", is typically 300 m above the surface, above the height of most profiling lidars, although several hours of very low-level jets (vLLJs) occur in each month in the dataset. The diurnal cycle for vLLJs is less pronounced than for all LLJs. Wind farms erode LLJs, as fewer LLJs occur in the wind farm simulations than in the no-wind-farm (NWF) simulation. When LLJs do occur in the simulation with wind farms, their noses are higher than in the NWF simulation: the LLJ nose has a mean altitude near 300 m for the NWF jets, but that nose height moves higher in the presence of wind farms, to a mean altitude near 400 m. Rotor region (30–250 m) wind veer is reduced across almost all months of the year in the wind farm simulations, while rotor region wind shear is similar in both simulations.

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Daphne Quint, Julie K. Lundquist, and David Rosencrans

Status: open (until 17 Jul 2024)

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Daphne Quint, Julie K. Lundquist, and David Rosencrans
Daphne Quint, Julie K. Lundquist, and David Rosencrans

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Short summary
Offshore wind farms will be built along the east coast of the United States. Low-level jets (LLJs) – layers of fast winds at low altitudes – also occur here. LLJs provide wind resources and also influence moisture and pollution transport, so it is important to understand how they might change. We develop and validate an automated tool to detect LLJs, and compare one year of simulations with and without wind farms. Here, we describe LLJ characteristics and how they change with wind farms.
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