Last updated October 10, 2018

Wind speed trends over the contiguous United States

  • Presents comprehensive intercomparison of historical wind speed trends over the contiguous United States based on two observational data sets, four reanalysis data sets, and output from two regional climate models (RCMs)
  • Contributes to detection, quantification, and attribution of temporal trends in wind speeds within the historical/contemporary climate and provides an evaluation of the RCMs being used to develop future wind speed scenarios
  • States there are substantial differences in temporal trends derived from observational wind speed data, reanalysis products, and RCMs
  • Finds the two observational data sets both exhibit an overwhelming dominance of trends toward declining values of the 50th and 90th percentile and annual mean wind speeds, which is also the case for simulations conducted using MM5 with NCEP-2 boundary conditions
  • Finds there are converse trends, however, in output from the North American Regional Reanalysis, other global reanalyses (NCEP-1 and ERA-40), and the Regional Spectral Model
  • States the relationship between changing annual mean wind speed and interannual variability is not consistent among the different data sets
  • Finds NCEP-1 and NARR exhibit some tendency toward declining (increasing) annual mean wind speeds being associated with decreased (increased) interannual variability, but this is not the case for the other data sets considered
  • Discusses possible causes of the differences in temporal trends from the eight data sources analyzed