Abstract

The effects of obstructions on winds measured by the 30 station FLOWS (FAA-Lincoln Laboratory Operational Weather Studies) mesonet and the 6 station FAA LLWAS (Low Level Wind Shear Alèrt System) near Memphis, TN in 1985 are analyzed. The slowing of surface winds by anemometer site obstructions is a continuing problem for scientific and operational wind shear measurement system This paper considers an improved version of the technique used by Fujita and Wakimoto for compensating the obstruction effects by the use of mathematical models relating the unobstructed wind speed to the measured wind speed and the observed obstructions at each site. Over eight million wind speed measurements gathered over 197 days (15 February–31 August) were used. The effects of obstructions at a particular site were evidenced by a strong negative correlation between the observed wind speed transmission factors and the obstruction angles as measured from panoramic photographs taken of the horizon around each station. The functional relationship between them was modeled as a decaying exponential plus a constant, and an iterative least squares regression technique was used on data from all of the stations at once in deriving the three parameters of the equation. It was found that the first 8° of obstruction have the greatest blockage effects, and that even a 2° or 3° high isolated clump of trees can have a pronounced effect on the measured wind speeds from that direction. The possibility that the transmission factors are scale dependent and time dependent is explored.

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