Spatial and temporal variability of winds in the Northern European Seas

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    Satellite data are used to characterize the near-surface winds over the Northern European Shelf Seas. We compare mean winds from QuikSCAT with reanalysis fields from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and in situ data from the FINO-1 offshore research mast. The aim is to evaluate the spatial and temporal variability of the near-surface wind field, including the inter- and intra-annual variability for resource assessment purposes. This study demonstrates the applicability of satellite observations as the means to provide information useful for selecting areas to perform higher resolution model runs or for mast installations. Comparisons between QuikSCAT and WRF reanalyses show biases ranging mostly between 0.6 and -0.6 m s-1 with a standard deviation of 1.8-2.8 m s-1. The combined analyses of inter- and intra-annual indices and the wind speed and direction distributions allow the identification of 3 sub-domains with similar intra-annual variability. Local characteristics observed from the long-term QuikSCAT wind rose distributions are depicted in high-resolution satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) wind fields. The winds derived from the WRF reanalysis dataset miss seasonal features observed by QuikSCAT and at FINO-1. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRenewable Energy
    Pages (from-to)200-210
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Remote sensing
    • Satellites
    • Synthetic aperture radar
    • Weather forecasting
    • Wind power
    • Wind


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