Complex Multi-scale Flows and Atmospheric Boundary Layer Research

Improving the prediction of surface and near-surface weather conditions

Much of the effort put into improving NWP model forecasts focuses on the upper levels and precipitation prediction; however, most of human activity unfolds at the interface between the atmosphere and land or sea surface. While larger scale, upper level flows often represent the dominant forcing, details of processes that mediate interaction between land or sea and the atmosphere have a profound effect on weather and climate. Many of the applications therefore require highly accurate high-resolution forecasts of wind and temperature variables in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). In the past, details of processes in ABLs were often studied in isolation or through a weak coupling with the upper atmosphere. With development of “big data” and exascale computational capabilities, it will be possible to combine vast amounts of observations with high-resolution numerical simulations resulting in more accurate analysis and a  better understanding and forecasting of complex, multiscale flows in ABLs.

RAL is performing research to significantly advance our knowledge of complex multiscale flows, particularly in the atmospheric boundary layer, and develop new methods and techniques to more accurately characterize and model the boundary layer to improve the prediction of surface and near- surface weather conditions.

Partners

  • DOE Wind Program
  • Vaisala

Representative Projects

  • Boundary-Layer Processes That Affect Wind-Energy Production: Ran the WRF-based RTFDDA LES model to study the complex planetary boundary layer (PBL) processes and wind characteristics in the lowest 200–300 m at wind farms to gain fundamental knowledge for developing an innovative wind-energy forecasting capability
  • Large-Eddy Simulations And Microscale Modeling Applications
  • Offshore Wind Project: Collaborated with partners across multiple projects that aimed to enhance our understanding and characterize the interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere to better predict winds over rotor disks for both locating wind plants and for forecasting power for plant operations
  • Wind Forecasting Improvement Project (WFIP2): Compared data from the Columbia River Gorge to develop and validate new modeling capabilities for high-resolution mesoscale flow simulations over complex terrain using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) – Advanced Research WRF (ARW) to enhance wind forecasting skill in complex terrain

Search through all publications in NCAR's OpenSky Library.

Cheng W. Y.Y., Y. Liu and T. Warner, 2009: Sensitivity of a Simulated Winter Storm to WRF Model Physics over Complex Terrain. 10th WRF users’ workshop, Jun 20-23, 2009. Boulder, CO.

Liu, Y., W. Wu, G. Roux, T. Warner, F. Chen, S. Swerdlin and J. Boehnert, 2008: A Successive Downscaling LES Simulation of Local-scale Weather Circulations. Wind Energy Meteorology, AGU Fall Meetings. Dec. 20 – 22, 2008. San Francisco.

Liu, Y., Yuewei Liu, W. Wu,W. Cheng, T. Warner, and K. Parks, 2009: Simulating intra-farm wind variation using the NCAR WRF-RTFDDA-LES model. 10th WRF users’ workshop, Jun 20-23, 2009. Boulder, CO.

Liu, Y., T. Warner, S. Swerdlin, W. Mahoney and the RTFDDA Team, 2009: Operational Wind Forecasting Using the NCAR Real-Time Four-dimensional Data Assimilation (RTFDDA) System. Preprint of Meeting on Short-term Wind Forecasting, International Energy Association. 11-12 September 2008. Madrid, Spain.

Liu, Y., T. Warner, S. Swerdlin, W. Mahoney and the RTFDDA Team, 2009: Operational Wind Forecasting Using the NCAR Real-Time Four-dimensional Data Assimilation (RTFDDA) System. Preprint of Meeting on Short-term Wind Forecasting, International Energy Association. 11-12 September 2008. Madrid, Spain.

Roux G., Y. Liu, L. Delle Monache, R.-S. Sheu and T. T. Warner, 2009: Verification of High-resolution WRF-RTFDDA Surface Forecasts over Mountains and Plains. 10th WRF users’ workshop, Jun 20-23, 2009. Boulder, CO.

Additional References on 4DWX website

Complex Multi-scale Flows and Atmospheric Boundary Layer Research