Weibull Wind-Speed Distribution Parameters Derived from a Combination of Wind-Lidar and Tall-Mast Measurements Over Land, Coastal and Marine Sites

Sven-Erik Gryning, Rogier Ralph Floors, Alfredo Peña, Ekaterina Batchvarova, Burghard Brümmer

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Wind-speed observations from tall towers are used in combination with observations up to 600 m in altitude from a Doppler wind lidar to study the long-term conditions over suburban (Hamburg), rural coastal (Høvsøre) and marine (FINO3) sites. The variability in the wind field among the sites is expressed in terms of mean wind speed and Weibull distribution shape-parameter profiles. The consequences of the carrier-to-noise-ratio (CNR) threshold-value choice on the wind-lidar observations are revealed as follows. When the wind-lidar CNR is lower than a prescribed threshold value, the observations are often filtered out as the uncertainty in the wind-speed measurements increases. For a pulsed heterodyne Doppler lidar, use of the traditional –22 dB CNR threshold value at all measuring levels up to 600 m results in a ≈7 % overestimation in the long-term mean wind speed over land, and a ≈12 % overestimation in coastal and marine environments. In addition, the height of the profile maximum of the shape parameter of the Weibull distribution (so-called reversal height) is found to depend on the applied CNR threshold; it is found to be lower at small CNR threshold values. The reversal height is greater in the suburban (high roughness) than in the rural (low roughness) area. In coastal areas the reversal height is lower than that over land and relates to the internal boundary layer that develops downwind from the coastline. Over the sea the shape parameter increases towards the sea surface. A parametrization of the vertical profile of the shape parameter fits well with observations over land, coastal regions and over the sea. An applied model for the dependence of the reversal height on the surface roughness is in good agreement with the observations over land.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)329-348
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2015. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com


  • Carrier-to-noise ratio
  • Doppler wind lidar
  • Reversal height
  • Shape parameter of the Weibull distribution
  • Wind profile

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