An Aircraft Study of Mesoscale Surface Wind Patterns and Associated Meteorological Conditions over Cape St. Francis, South Africa

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  • a Oceanography Department, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • | b Geographical and Environmental Sciences Department, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • | c Cloud Quest, Nelspruit, South Africa
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Abstract

Aircraft surveys have been conducted to assess the mesoscale pattern of wind and weather over Cape Saint Francis, South Africa, on the southern tip of the African continent. Ten surveys were flown at a level of 100 m above ground during November 1991, and wind velocity, turbulence, and temperature were monitored. Results were stratified into composites according to the mean direction and speed of the wind. Under the prevailing westerly wind, three areas of high speed were found that may constitute optimal sites for wind energy turbines. These areas of high velocities lie along the tops of low rolling hills in the vicinity of the Krom River at Cape Saint Francis. The usefulness of aircraft surveys in developing an understanding of the mesoscale pattern of winds and associated meteorological fields is emphasized.

Abstract

Aircraft surveys have been conducted to assess the mesoscale pattern of wind and weather over Cape Saint Francis, South Africa, on the southern tip of the African continent. Ten surveys were flown at a level of 100 m above ground during November 1991, and wind velocity, turbulence, and temperature were monitored. Results were stratified into composites according to the mean direction and speed of the wind. Under the prevailing westerly wind, three areas of high speed were found that may constitute optimal sites for wind energy turbines. These areas of high velocities lie along the tops of low rolling hills in the vicinity of the Krom River at Cape Saint Francis. The usefulness of aircraft surveys in developing an understanding of the mesoscale pattern of winds and associated meteorological fields is emphasized.

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