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Assessment of Wind Pattern Accuracy from the QuikSCAT Satellite and the WRF Model along the Galician Coast (Northwest Iberian Peninsula)

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  • 1 CESAM, Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
  • | 2 Environmental Physics Laboratory, Universidade de Vigo, Facultade de Ciencias, Ourense, Spain, and CESAM, Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
  • | 3 CESAM, Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
  • | 4 Environmental Physics Laboratory, Universidade de Vigo, Facultade de Ciencias, Ourense, Spain
  • | 5 CESAM, Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
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Abstract

Surface wind along the Galician coast is a key factor allowing the analysis of important oceanographic features that are related to the great primary production in this area, as upwelling events. A comparative analysis between surface winds obtained from the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT), the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, and in situ observations from buoys along the Galician coast is carried out from November 2008 to October 2009. This comparison evaluates the accuracy of satellite and modeled data. The results show that the wind speeds derived from QuikSCAT and the WRF Model are similar along the coast, with errors ranging from 1.5 to 2 m s−1. However, QuikSCAT tends to overestimate wind speeds when compared to the buoys measurements. Regarding the wind direction, the RMSE values are about 35° for the stations under analysis. The bias presents a similar pattern between satellite and modeled data, with positive values at the western coast and negative values at the middle and northern coasts, the satellite data always being lower in absolute value than the modeled data. A spatial comparison between QuikSCAT and WRF data is also performed over the whole Galician coast to evaluate the differences between the two datasets. This comparison shows that the modeled wind speed tends to be lower than satellite winds over the entire domain, with the highest RMSE and bias values found for the wind speed and direction observed near the shoreline.

Corresponding author address: J. M. Dias, CESAM, Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal. E-mail: joao.dias@ua.pt

Abstract

Surface wind along the Galician coast is a key factor allowing the analysis of important oceanographic features that are related to the great primary production in this area, as upwelling events. A comparative analysis between surface winds obtained from the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT), the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, and in situ observations from buoys along the Galician coast is carried out from November 2008 to October 2009. This comparison evaluates the accuracy of satellite and modeled data. The results show that the wind speeds derived from QuikSCAT and the WRF Model are similar along the coast, with errors ranging from 1.5 to 2 m s−1. However, QuikSCAT tends to overestimate wind speeds when compared to the buoys measurements. Regarding the wind direction, the RMSE values are about 35° for the stations under analysis. The bias presents a similar pattern between satellite and modeled data, with positive values at the western coast and negative values at the middle and northern coasts, the satellite data always being lower in absolute value than the modeled data. A spatial comparison between QuikSCAT and WRF data is also performed over the whole Galician coast to evaluate the differences between the two datasets. This comparison shows that the modeled wind speed tends to be lower than satellite winds over the entire domain, with the highest RMSE and bias values found for the wind speed and direction observed near the shoreline.

Corresponding author address: J. M. Dias, CESAM, Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal. E-mail: joao.dias@ua.pt
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