This research was funded by the NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) program (NASA Grant NNX10AB30G). The authors are indebted to Melissa Elkinton, Clint Johnson, and Craig Collier (GL Garrad Hassan) for their insightful comments and discussion throughout this study. We also thank Luca Delle Monache and Sue Ellen Haupt (both at NCAR) for reviewing an early version of the manuscript. Four anonymous reviewers provided valuable comments that improved the manuscript. The following individuals and agencies are gratefully acknowledged for providing the tall tower measurements: Andrea Hahmann (Risø Danish Technical University) provided the Risø measurements; Stel Walker (Oregon State University) provided the Goodnoe Hills, Washington, measurements; and Robert Kurzeja (Savanna River National Laboratory) provided the Savanna River, South Carolina, measurements. The Lamont, Oklahoma, tower measurements were obtained from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility online data archive (http://www.arm.gov), and the Cabauw, Netherlands, tower measurements were obtained from the Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research Database (http://www.cesar-database.nl/). Daniel Steinhoff (NCAR) helped with processing the ASTER data. The MERRA data were obtained through the NASA Mirador Earth Science Data Search Tool (http://mirador.gsfc.nasa.gov/).
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Note that additional combinations of case days may be required to adequately represent the full range of conditions over a multidecadal record (e.g., 30 yr), including rare events.
All analyses of wind direction data are performed using circular statistics methods (e.g., Fisher 1995).
A 12–24-h initialization (or spinup) period is commonly used for individual climate downscaling simulations (e.g., Qian et al. 2003; Lo et al. 2008; Hahmann et al. 2010; Rife et al. 2010). Thus, in the limit where no groupings of consecutive days exist within a given sample, the total computational burden increases by a factor of 1.5–2.0, which accounts for the 12–24-h spinup period required for each of the 365 individual daily downscaled realizations.