Presentation Description: When thinking about climatology, the phrase “extreme events” generally refers to mesoscale weather phenomena lasting on the order of hours to in some cases a few years. It is generally assumed that by using long term data sets to correlate short term in-situ measurements, the bias generated by these extreme events is mitigated to nearly eliminated from the analysis. Recently, the industry has been subjected to a different kind of “extreme event” in the form of a new data set, ERA5. In this instance, the extreme event is the entire data set instead of an isolated event. The focus of this study is to compare the long-term measurement height wind speed, correlation (R2), and the calculated long-term uncertainty estimate seen at nine different measurement points from northwestern North Dakota to south-central Oklahoma. The baseline for comparison is to use only the MERRA2 data set for long-term correlation and determine what the resulting long-term wind speed and uncertainty is at the site. While adjustments seen across the country have varied in magnitude and sign, much of the traditional “wind belt” has seen a marked decrease in correlated measurement height wind speeds as the result of incorporating ERA5 data into the analysis either as the lone correlation point or on conjunction with MERRA2. Despite a typically higher correlation value, with a fair amount of consistency, ERA5 also introduces an increase in long term uncertainty due to higher inter-annual variability.
Methodology: Live audience poling at several points throughout the presentation