AbstractThis study simulates the impacts of real-world wind farms on land surface temperature (LST) using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model driven by realistic initial and boundary conditions. The simulated wind farm impacts are compared with the observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the first Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP) field campaign. Simulations are performed over west-central Texas for the month of July throughout 7 years (2003–04 and 2010–14). Two groups of experiments are conducted: 1) direct validations of the simulated LST changes between the preturbine period (2003–04) and postturbine period (2010–14) validated against the MODIS observations; and 2) a model sensitivity test of LST to the wind turbine parameterization by examining LST differences with and without the wind turbines for the postturbine period. Overall, the WRF Model is moderately successful at reproducing the observed spatiotemporal variations of the background LST but has difficulties in reproducing such variations for the turbine-induced LST change signals at pixel levels. However, the model is still able to reproduce coherent and consistent responses of the observed LST changes at regional scales. The simulated wind farm–induced LST warming signals agree well with the satellite observations in terms of their spatial coupling with the wind farm layout. Moreover, the simulated areal mean warming signal (0.20°–0.26°C) is about a tenth of a degree smaller than that from MODIS (0.33°C). However, these results suggest that the current wind turbine parameterization tends to induce a cooling effect behind the wind farm region at nighttime, which has not been confirmed by previous field campaigns and satellite observations.
Monthly Weather Review – American Meteorological Society
Published: Dec 19, 2017
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