Incorporation of the Rotor-Equivalent Wind Speed into the Weather Research and Forecasting Model's Wind Farm Parameterization

Julie Lundquist, Stephanie Redfern, Joseph Olson, Christopher Clack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus Citations


Wind power installations have been increasing in recent years. Because wind turbines can influence local wind speeds, temperatures, and surface fluxes, weather forecasting models should consider their effects. Wind farm parameterizations do currently exist for numerical weather prediction models. They generally consider two turbine impacts: elevated drag in the region of the wind turbine rotor disk and increased turbulent kinetic energy production. The wind farm parameterization available in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model calculates this drag and TKE as a function of hub-height wind speed. However, recent work has suggested that integrating momentum over the entire rotor disk [via a rotor-equivalent wind speed (REWS)] is more appropriate, especially for cases with high wind shear. In this study, we implement the REWS in the WRF wind farm parameterization and evaluate its impacts in an idealized environment, with varying amounts of wind speed shear and wind directional veer. Specifically, we evaluate three separate cases: neutral stability with low wind shear, high stability with high wind shear, and high stability with nonlinear wind shear. For most situations, use of the REWS with the wind farm parameterization has marginal impacts on model forecasts. However, for scenarios with highly nonlinear wind shear, the REWS can significantly affect results.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1029-1046
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-73673


  • atmosphere
  • mesoscale forecasting
  • numerical weather prediction/forecasting
  • parameterization
  • renewable energy
  • wind effects


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