Impact of Model Improvements on 80 m Wind Speeds During the Second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2)

Julie Lundquist, Laura Bianco, Irina Djalalova, James Wilczak, Joseph Olson, Jaymes Kenyon, Aditya Choukulkar, Larry Berg, Harindra Fernando, Eric Grimit, Raghavendra Krishnamurthy, Paytsar Muradyan, Mikhail Pekour, Yelena Pichugina, Mark Stoelinga, David Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus Citations


During the second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2; October 2015-March 2017, held in the Columbia River Gorge and Basin area of eastern Washington and Oregon states), several improvements to the parameterizations used in the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR - 3 km horizontal grid spacing) and the High Resolution Rapid Refresh Nest (HRRRNEST - 750 m horizontal grid spacing) numerical weather prediction (NWP) models were tested during four 6-week reforecast periods (one for each season). For these tests the models were run in control (CNT) and experimental (EXP) configurations, with the EXP configuration including all the improved parameterizations. The impacts of the experimental parameterizations on the forecast of 80 m wind speeds (wind turbine hub height) from the HRRR and HRRRNEST models are assessed, using observations collected by 19 sodars and three profiling lidars for comparison. Improvements due to the experimental physics (EXP vs. CNT runs) and those due to finer horizontal grid spacing (HRRRNEST vs. HRRR) and the combination of the two are compared, using standard bulk statistics such as mean absolute error (MAE) and mean bias error (bias). On average, the HRRR 80 m wind speed MAE is reduced by 3%-4% due to the experimental physics. The impact of the finer horizontal grid spacing in the CNT runs also shows a positive improvement of 5% on MAE, which is particularly large at nighttime and during the morning transition. Lastly, the combined impact of the experimental physics and finer horizontal grid spacing produces larger improvements in the 80 m wind speed MAE, up to 7%-8%. The improvements are evaluated as a function of the model's initialization time, forecast horizon, time of the day, season of the year, site elevation, and meteorological phenomena. Causes of model weaknesses are identified. Finally, bias correction methods are applied to the 80 m wind speed model outputs to measure their impact on the improvements due to the removal of the systematic component of the errors.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4803-4821
Number of pages19
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-75691


  • numerical weather prediction
  • parameterization
  • WFIP2
  • Wind Forecast Improvement Project


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