Wind Data for Station-wise assessment of wind speed and direction under future climates across the United States


This study employs statistical techniques to evaluate climate model performance in wind speed and direction and their projected future changes under the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario over inland and offshore across the Continental United States (CONUS). It extends the scope of existing studies by characterizing the changes of the full range of the joint wind speed and direction distribution via a conditional approach. Projected uncertainties associated with different climate models and model internal variability are investigated and compared with the climate change signal to quantify the statistical significance of the future projections. The proposed conditional approach provides a better way to characterize the directional wind speed distributions that offers additional insights for the joint assessment of speed and direction. WRF data: We focus on seasonal (December-January-February (winter hereafter) and June-July-August (summer hereafter) statistics computed from the 3-hourly RCM outputs on both wind speed and direction over ten locations with different local topological features. We use three WRF simulations driven by Community Climate System Model 4 (CCSM4), the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Earth System Model 2 (GFDL-ESM2G), and the Hadley Centre Global Environment Model version 2 (HadGEM2-ES). These three GCMs represent a range of climate sensitivities that encompasses most of the coupled model intercomparison project phase 5 (CMIP5) GCMs when projecting future temperature changes. In this work, we focus on RCP 8.5 scenario for future projections. A 16-member ensemble of one-year of RCM simulation using bias corrected CCSM-driven WRF is also generated for analyzing the uncertainty due to the RCM's internal variability (IV). Benchmark data: Reanalysis data are used as a verification dataset in order to evaluate the RCMs' wind conditions under study for the historical time period. For the seven inland locations, we use the second phase of the multi-institution North American Land Data Assimilation System project, phase 2, at a spatial resolution of 12 km and hourly resolution. NLDAS-2 is an offline data assimilation system featuring uncoupled land surface models driven by observation-based atmospheric forcing. The non-precipitation land surface forcing fields for NLDAS-2 are derived from the analysis fields of the NCEP North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). NARR analysis fields are at a 32-km spatial resolution and 3-hourly temporal frequency. In-situ measurement: Since reanalysis data can present errors and uncertainties, ground measurements and offshore buoy measurements are used to consolidate the evaluation of RCMs' wind conditions for inland and offshore locations in historical climates. Observational data are extracted from the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) network that consists stations covers the U.S. territory, available at ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/asos-onemin. The offshore downscaled wind speeds from the historical decade are compared with National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) buoy observations of near-surface wind velocities available at https://www.ndbc.noaa.gov. The observed winds at the NBDC anemometers are adjusted to 10-m above ground height and at 3-hourly rate.

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