Surface wind regionalization over complex terrain: Evaluation and analysis of a high-resolution WRF simulation

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This study analyzes the daily-mean surface wind variability over an area characterized by complex topography through comparing observations and a 2-km-spatial-resolution simulation performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model for the period 1992-2005. The evaluation focuses on the performance of the simulation to reproduce the wind variability within subregions identified from observations over the 1999-2002 period in a previous study. By comparing with wind observations, the model results show the ability of the WRF dynamical downscaling over a region of complex terrain. The higher spatio-temporal resolution of the WRF simulation is used to evaluate the extent to which the length of the observational period and the limited spatial coverage of observations condition one's understanding of the wind variability over the area. The subregions identified with the simulation during the 1992-2005 period are similar to those identified with observations (1999-2002). In addition, the reduced number of stations reasonably represents the spatial wind variability over the area. However, the analysis of the full spatial dimension simulated by the model suggests that observational coverage could be improved in some subregions. The approach adopted here can have a direct application to the design of observational networks.
© 2010 American Meteorological Society. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.This project was accomplished within the Collaboration Agreement 09/153 between UCM and CIEMAT, and it was partially funded by Project CGL2005-06966-C07/CLI. We thank the Navarra Government for providing us with the wind dataset used in this study and ECMWF for free access to its datasets. An initial version of the wavelet software was provided by C. Torrence and G. Compo (available online at http:// We also thank the three reviewers for their helpful comments.
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