Temporal Coherence: A Model for Non-Stationarity in Natural and Simulated Wind Records

Jennifer M. Rinker, Henri P. Gavin, Andrew Clifton, Paul S. Veers, Levi F. Kilcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


We present a novel methodology for characterizing and simulating non-stationary stochastic wind records. In this new method, non-stationarity is characterized and modelled via temporal coherence, which is quantified in the discrete frequency domain by probability distributions of the differences in phase between adjacent Fourier components. Temporal coherence can also be used to quantify non-stationary characteristics in wind data. Three case studies are presented that analyze the non-stationarity of turbulent wind data obtained at the National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado, USA. The first study compares the temporal and spectral characteristics of a stationary wind record and a non-stationary wind record in order to highlight their differences in temporal coherence. The second study examines the distribution of one of the proposed temporal coherence parameters and uses it to quantify the prevalence of nonstationarity in the dataset. The third study examines how temporal coherence varies with a range of atmospheric parameters to determine what conditions produce more non-stationarity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)373-389
Number of pages17
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-64561


  • Non-stationarity
  • Phase difference distributions
  • Stochastic wind simulation
  • Temporal coherence
  • Turbulence


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