Estimation of Winds over the Great Lakes

by Donald T. Resio, Research Physical Scientist; Wave Dynamics Div., Hydr. Lab., U.S. Army Waterway Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.,
C. Linwood Vincent, Research Physical Scientist; Wave Dynamics Div., Hydr. Lab., U.S. Army Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterway Port Coastal and Ocean Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 2, Pg. 265-283

Document Type: Journal Paper


Past efforts to estimate wind speeds over a large lake have met with very limited success. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that, with a combined theoretical-empirical approach, winds over a lake can be obtained from transformed wind speeds at nearby land stations. The theoretical results provide a basis for comparison of many empirical data sets and establish a rational means of analyzing the expected differences between winds over land and those over a marine surface. This in turn affords a means of examining systematic variations in the ratio of wind speeds over a lake to wind speed over land. The good agreement between theory and observation indicates that wind estimates over the lake can be made for a wide range of synoptic conditions with an rms error of 5 knots. The theoretical curve for the lake wind/land wind ratio provides an estimate of lake winds well beyond wind speeds for which there are good empirical data.

Subject Headings: Wind speed | Wind engineering | Lakes | Empirical equations | Comparative studies | Agreements and treaties | Errors (statistics) | Curvature | Great Lakes

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