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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-69
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-69
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 May 2020

Submitted as: research article | 04 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Observations and Simulations of a Wind Farm Modifying a Thunderstorm Outflow Boundary

Jessica M. Tomaszewski1 and Julie K. Lundquist1,2 Jessica M. Tomaszewski and Julie K. Lundquist
  • 1Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0311, USA
  • 2National Wind Technology Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401-3305, USA

Abstract. On June 18, 2019, National Weather Service (NWS) radar reflectivity data indicated the presence of thunderstorm-generated outflow propagating east-southeast near Lubbock, Texas. A section of the outflow boundary encountered a wind farm, and then experienced a notable reduction in propagating speed, suggesting that interactions with the wind farm impacted the outflow boundary progression. We use the Weather Research and Forecasting model and its Wind Farm Parameterization to address the extent to which wind farms can modify thunderstorm outflow boundaries. We conduct two simulations of the June 2019 outflow event, one containing the wind farm and one without. We specifically investigate the outflow propagation speed of the section of the boundary that encounters the wind farm and the associated impacts to near-surface wind speed, moisture, temperature, and changes to precipitation features as the storm and associated outflow pass over the wind farm domain. The NWS radar and nearby West Texas Mesonet surface stations provide observations for validation of the simulations. The presence of the wind farm in the simulation clearly slows the progress of the outflow boundary by over 20 km hr−1 similar to what was observed. Simulated perturbations of surface wind speed, temperature, and moisture associated with outflow passage were delayed by up to 6 minutes when the wind farm was present in the simulation compared to the simulation without the wind farm. However, impacts to precipitation were localized and transient, with no change to total accumulation across the domain.

Jessica M. Tomaszewski and Julie K. Lundquist

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Status: open (until 15 Jun 2020)
Status: open (until 15 Jun 2020)
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Jessica M. Tomaszewski and Julie K. Lundquist

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WRF WFP outflow model input and parsed data J. M. Tomaszewski https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3765421

Jessica M. Tomaszewski and Julie K. Lundquist

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Latest update: 29 May 2020
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Short summary
We use a mesoscale numerical weather prediction model to conduct a case study of a thunderstorm outflow passing over and interacting with a wind farm. These simulations, along with observations from a nearby radar and surface station, confirm that interactions with the wind farm cause the outflow to reduce its speed by over 20 km/hr, with brief but significant impacts to the local meteorology, including temperature, moisture, and winds. Precipitation accumulation across the region was unaffected.
We use a mesoscale numerical weather prediction model to conduct a case study of a thunderstorm...
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