Abstract
This study develops an adaptive, blended forecasting system to provide accurate wind speed forecasts 1 h ahead of time for wind power applications. The system consists of an ensemble of 21 forecasts with different configurations of the Weather Research and Forecasting Single Column Model and persistence, autoregressive, and autoregressive moving-average models. The ensemble is calibrated against observations for a 6-month period (January–June 2006) at a potential wind-farm site in Illinois using the Bayesian model averaging technique. The forecasting system is evaluated against observations for the July 2006–December 2007 period at the same site. The calibrated ensemble forecasts significantly outperform the forecasts from the uncalibrated ensemble as well the time series models under all environmental stability conditions. This forecasting system is computationally more efficient than traditional numerical weather prediction models and can generate a calibrated forecast, including model runs and calibration, in approximately 1 min. Currently, hour-ahead wind speed forecasts are almost exclusively produced using statistical models. However, numerical models have several distinct advantages over statistical models including the potential to provide turbulence forecasts. Hence, there is an urgent need to explore the role of numerical models in short-term wind speed forecasting. This work is a step in that direction and is likely to trigger a debate within the wind speed forecasting community.