On the Offshore Advection of Boundary-Layer Structures and the Influence on Offshore Wind Conditions




Dörenkämper, Martin
Optis, Michael
Monahan, Adam H.
Steinfeld, Gerald

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Boundary-Layer Meteorology


The coastal discontinuity imposes strong signals to the atmospheric conditions over the sea that are important for wind-energy potential. Here, we provide a comprehensive investigation of the influence of the land–sea transition on wind conditions in the Baltic Sea using data from an offshore meteorological tower, data from a wind farm, and mesoscale model simulations. Results show a strong induced stable stratification when warm inland air flows over a colder sea. This stratification demonstrates a strong diurnal pattern and is most pronounced in spring when the land–sea temperature difference is greatest. The strength of the induced stratification is proportional to this parameter and inversely proportional to fetch. Extended periods of stable stratification lead to increased influence of inertial oscillations and increased frequency of low-level jets. Furthermore, heterogeneity in land-surface roughness along the coastline is found to produce pronounced horizontal streaks of reduced wind speeds that under stable stratification are advected several tens of kilometres over the sea. The intensity and length of the streaks dampen as atmospheric stability decreases. Increasing sea surface roughness leads to a deformation of these streaks with increasing fetch. Slight changes in wind direction shift the path of these advective streaks, which when passing through an offshore wind farm are found to produce large fluctuations in wind power. Implications of these coastline effects on the accurate modelling and forecasting of offshore wind conditions, as well as damage risk to the turbine, are discussed.



Coastal meteorology, Low-level jets, Offshore wind farms, Stable stratification, Wind energy


Dörenkämper, M., Opris, M., Monahan, A. H., & Steinfeld, G. (2015). On the Offshore Advection of Boundary-Layer Structures and the Influence on Offshore Wind Conditions. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 155, 459-482. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10546-015-0008-x.