Print Friendly printer friendly
School of Earth and Ocean Science, University of Victoria
Mon 23 Mar 2015, 3:00pm
Institute of Applied Mathematics
LSK 460
Stochastic Dynamics of Near-Surface winds: Observations and Physical Models
LSK 460
Mon 23 Mar 2015, 3:00pm-4:00am


Understanding physical controls on the variability of near-surface winds is of interest from the perspective of climate (as winds influence surface fluxes), of environmental hazards (particularly extreme winds), and of renewable energy.  There is a long history of empirically-based probabilistic models of wind variability, but until recently relatively little physical attention has been paid to this problem.

In this talk, I will discuss how we have been using approaches from nonlinear time series, dynamical systems, and stochastic differential equations in the development of physically-based probabilistic models of near-surface wind variability.  The focus will be on winds over land, characterized by a marked day/night contrast in the shape of the wind speed probability density function (pdf).  I will first present an analysis of long time series of wind, temperature, and turbulence data from a 213m tower in Cabauw, Netherlands.   After this, I will discuss an idealized stochastic model of the boundary layer momentum budget that captures some of the basic features of variations in the wind speed pdf.