Characterization of Wind Speed and Directional Shear at the AWAKEN Field Campaign Site: Article No. 033308

Mithu Debnath, Patrick Moriarty, Raghavendra Krishnamurthy, Nicola Bodini, Rob Newsom, Eliot Quon, Julie Lundquist, Stefano Letizia, Giacomo Iungo, Petra Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The American wake experiment (AWAKEN) is taking place in northern Oklahoma, USA, close to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains (ARM SGP) atmospheric observatory. The planning for the deployment of the instruments in this observational field campaign required an assessment of the wind characteristics of the site. This paper analyzes long-term data collected by instruments at the ARM SGP observatory to characterize the winds near the AWAKEN site. The analysis shows that this site experiences high wind shear and veer events with a large number of nocturnal low-level jets. A total of 7086 low-level jet wind profiles over 6 years are examined and found to be dominant from the south and southeast. Significant nocturnal wind veer is observed, which causes southerly wind near the surface to become westerly wind aloft. By identifying a strong relationship between atmospheric stability and wind shear, the wind shear at the site is predicted using the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) and validated with the observational data collected by a scanning Doppler lidar. The results show that wind speed at a height of 91 m, a proxy hub height for wind turbines in this area, can be predicted from data collected at a height of 10 m with a bias of -0.35 and 0.65 m s-1 in unstable and stable atmospheric boundary layers, respectively. The bias of the predicted wind speed is mostly in the region of low wind speed, and wind speed above 5 m s-1 at a height of 91 m can be predicted with a bias of less than 0.2 m s-1, and the limitations of the MOST in predicting winds during the stably stratified boundary layer is well-observed.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-82240


  • atmospheric dynamics
  • atmospheric radiation
  • coriolis effects
  • flow velocity
  • fluid dynamics
  • fluid mixing
  • light detection and ranging
  • stability function
  • wind turbines


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