Accuracy of wind observations from open-ocean buoys: Correction for flow distortion

Schlundt, Michael, Farrar, J. Thomas, Bigorre, Sebastien P., Plueddemann, Albert J. and Weller, Robert A. (2020) Accuracy of wind observations from open-ocean buoys: Correction for flow distortion Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 37 (4). pp. 687-703. DOI 10.1175/JTECH-D-19-0132.1.

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The comparison of equivalent neutral winds obtained from (a) four WHOI buoys in the subtropics and (b) scatterometer estimates at those locations reveals a root-mean-square (RMS) difference of 0.56-0.76 m/s. To investigate this RMS difference, different buoy wind error sources were examined. These buoys are particularly well suited to examine two important sources of buoy wind errors because: (1) redundant anemometers and a comparison with numerical flow simulations allow us to quantitatively assess flow distortion errors, and (2) one-minute sampling at the buoys allows us to examine the sensitivity of buoy temporal sampling/averaging in the buoy-scatterometer comparisons. The inter-anemometer difference varies as a function of wind direction relative to the buoy wind vane and is consistent with the effects of flow distortion expected based on numerical flow simulations. Comparison between the anemometers and scatterometer winds supports the interpretation that the inter-anemometer disagreement, which can be up to 5% of the wind speed, is due to flow distortion. These insights motivate an empirical correction to the individual anemometer records and subsequent comparison with scatterometer estimates show good agreement.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Wind, buoy, flow distortion, scatterometer, wind speed
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Woods Hole
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1175/JTECH-D-19-0132.1
ISSN: 0739-0572
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2020 14:28
Last Modified: 15 May 2020 12:16

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