Impact of Inland Terrain on Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind and Implications for Wind Resource Assessment: A Case Study
Journal Article - Open Access
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
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This paper presents a case study of a strong low-level jet LLJ that was observed about 20 km off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, during a measurement campaign in the summer of 2013. Doppler wind lidar observations offshore, together with analyses of 4-km WRF Model data and NARR data, are used to reconstruct the forcing mechanisms that led to the growth and rapid collapse of the jet offshore as well as to differentiate the forcing mechanisms resulting in an LLJ farther inland. It was observed that the LLJ over the mid-Atlantic coastal plain decreased gradually throughout the early morning hours relative to the LLJ along the coastal ocean as a downslope wind moved eastward from the Appalachian Mountains. The forcing of the LLJ was a result of both thermal and mechanical mechanisms linked to the topography, while synoptic forcing from an approaching cold front led to a downslope wind. Data from a wind profiler near Cambridge, Maryland, also showed an LLJ, but forced by different regional conditions, emphasizing the difficulties of inferring wind conditions offshore from onshore observations. The sudden breakdown of the jet offshore appears to have been a result of an interaction with a downslope wind from the Appalachian Mountains. This particular case study highlights the 1 importance of both large-scale and regional forcing, 2 impact that topographical forcing farther inland had on offshore wind, and 3 different responses in the wind profile as a downslope wind moved across the mid-Atlantic region.