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Robert A. Maddox
Hugo F. Bezdek


An extended series of surface observations is used to compare observed surface winds with winds computed using the geostrophic relationship. These computations are done for both steady and unsteady wind regimes. Large differences are found in the comparisons of observed to computed winds. The differences exhibit pronounced seasonal and diurnal variability that appear to reflect both boundary layer stability and small-scale wind and pressure fields-for example, those attending land-sea breezes and thunderstorms.

The results of this study may be useful to those engaged in studying global datasets and to modelers, who are continually challenged to improve the treatment of parameterization of turbulent processes. However, it is not obvious that any simple parameterization can be applied to obtain an accurate estimate of the surface wind in central Florida, given only the large-scale pressure gradient or a model-predicted wind above the surface as input. The use of the pressure field to estimate surface winds is an uncertain exercise at best.

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