On-Line Wind Field Calculations for Routine and Emergency Response Applications

  • K. C. Nitz
  • R. M. Endlich
  • F. L. Ludwig
Part of the NATO · Challenges of Modern Society book series (NATS, volume 10)


The task at hand was to generate a complete terrain-corrected three-dimensional wind field for a coastal area that has very rough terrain from real-time input data. This wind field could then be used for routine wind flow applications as well as for emergency reponse. This meant that the wind flow model that we chose not only had to be accurate, but also had to be quick. The three dimensional wind field then had to be displayed in a way that would be easily interpreted by anyone. A maximum response time of 5 to 10 minutes was thought to be acceptable because the model was to run on a microcomputer.

The basic objectives of the model were that it be:
  • As complete as possible with regard to the spatial and temporal variations of the winds.

  • Available on a continuing, up-to-the minute basis.

  • Based on all available wind observations and terrain data.

  • Displayed so that the output would be easily understood

In addition to the above items, the wind information should be in a form that can be used directly by computer models of atmospheric transport and diffusion, so that trajectories and concentrations can be calculated quickly.

The special software described here has evolved from our work with similar problems of wind field generation in a different context [Bhumralkar et al (1980)]. The earlier work led to the development of efficient computer codes for generating potential flow wind fields that include terrain effects, and that require relatively sparse meteorological inputs.


Wind Field Wind Component Complex Terrain Geostrophic Wind National Weather Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bhumralkar, C.M., Mancuso, R.L., Ludwig, F.L., and Renne, D.S.: 1980, ‘A Practical and Economic Method for Estimating Wind Characteristics and Potential Wind Energy Conversion Sites,’ Solar Energy 25, 55–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen, T.C.: 1980, ‘On the Energy Exchange Between the Divergent and Rotational Components of Atmospheric Flow over the Tropics and Subtropics at 200 mb During Two Northern Summers,’ Mon. Wea. Review 109, 896–912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Endlich, R.M.: 1967, ‘An Iterative Method for Altering the Kinematic Properties öf Wind Fields, J. Appl. Meteorol. 6, 837–844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Endlich, R.M.: 1968, ‘Direct Computation of Geostrophic Winds from Observed Winds using the Balance Equation,’ J. Appl. Meteorol. 7, 994–1003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Endlich, R.M.: 1984, ‘Wind Energy Estimates by use of a Diagnostic Model,’ Bndy-Lyr. Meteor. 30, 375–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Goodin, W.R., McRae, C.J., and Seinfeld, J.H.: 1980, ‘An objective Analysis Technique for Constructing Three-Dimensional Urban-Scale Wind Fields,’ J. Appl. Meteorol. 19, 98–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Liu, C.Y. and Goodin, W.R.: 1976, ‘An Iterative Algorithim for Objective Wind Field Analysis,’ Mon. Wea. Review 104, 784–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ludwig, F. L., 1985: “Inclusion of Buoyancy Forces and Energy Considerations in Mass-Consistant Wind Interpolation Schemes,” paper prepared for Stanford University Civil Engineering Department, Stanford, California.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. C. Nitz
    • 1
  • R. M. Endlich
    • 1
  • F. L. Ludwig
    • 1
  1. 1.SRI InternationalMenlo ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations