NewEnergyNews: WINDS VARY BUT ARE PREDICTABLE

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    Friday, February 18, 2011

    WINDS VARY BUT ARE PREDICTABLE

    La Niña Significantly Influences Wind Speeds in Q4 2010; 3TIER's Anomaly Forecast Demonstrates Value in Managing Risk
    February 9, 2011 (3TIER)

    "…[A] wind performance map for the fourth quarter of 2010 [from 3TIER®]…illustrates that wind speeds were above their seasonal average for large areas across the US….largely due to the La Niña phenomena, and closely matches the wind anomaly forecast 3TIER released in early October…

    "…In comparing the [forecast maps and actual maps], the areas where 3TIER forecasted a significantly increased chance of either above or below normal wind speeds match closely with the actual variance map."


    click to enlarge

    "The actual variance map shows that wind speeds were 5%-30% above their long-term averages across the western and northeastern US and the Great Lakes and eastern provinces of Canada. Most of the Texas wind corridor also saw wind speeds that were about 5% above normal. Meanwhile, much of the upper Midwest and central Canada experienced wind speeds that were 5%-15% below normal.

    "The La Niña phenomenon is characterized by a cooling of surface water temperatures in the eastern, tropical Pacific Ocean and generally causes above average wind speeds in the western US and below average wind speeds in western Texas, the Midwest and the northeast seaboard…"


    click to enlarge

    "…La Niña is caused by oceanic shifts and can be predicted months in advance…[T]he Arctic Oscillation is caused by opposing atmospheric pressure patterns and its predictability is limited to weeks. In December 2010, a strongly negative Arctic Oscillation resulted in stormier weather and stronger wind speeds in the northeastern US and Canada. As a result, 3TIER was least accurate in that region.

    "In October, 3TIER forecasted an even more pronounced increase in wind speeds for the first quarter of 2011 across virtually all of the United States and eastern and western Canada due to a strengthening of the La Niña event."

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