Validating Simulated Mountain Wave Impacts on Hub-Height Wind Speed Using SoDAR Observations

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9 Scopus Citations


The ascent of stably stratified air over a mountain barrier can trigger the generation of mountain waves. Mountain waves occur frequently over the Columbia River Gorge in western North America and can impact wind power generation over the area. Therefore, predicting the details of mountain waves events (e.g., dominant wavelength, timing, and duration) can be very valuable for the wind energy community. In this study, the ability of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to simulate mountain waves and their impact on hub-height wind speed is investigated. Our results suggest that the WRF model has moderate skill in simulating observed mountain wave. Further, given WRF predictions of wavelength range and wave period, the Fast Fourier Transform can calculate the simulated mountain wave impact on hub-height wind speed. The resulting wind speeds agree well with SoDAR observations in terms of both magnitude and pattern. Finally, for the simulated cases, WRF consistently predicts impacts of significant mountain wave events about an hour earlier than the actual observations. The sensitivities as well as uncertainties associated with our methodology are discussed in detail.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2220-2230
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable Energy
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-77995


  • Fourier filtering
  • Mountain wave
  • Wind forecasting
  • WRF modeling


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