2nd Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2)

The second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2) is a DOE and NOAA funded public-private partnership whose goal is to improve NWP model forecast skill for turbine-height winds in regions with complex terrain. A core element of WFIP2 is an 18 month field deployment located in the Pacific Northwest, focusing on the Columbia River Gorge and Columbia Basin in eastern Oregon and Washington states, with instrument deployment occurring in the autumn of 2015. The approach taken is to collect an extensive set of new meteorological observations, especially within the atmospheric boundary layer, use these to observe and understand relevant atmospheric processes, develop and test new model physical parameterization schemes, and ultimately transfer these improved models to NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) operations and to the wider meteorological and wind energy communities.

Maps of Study Area:

Base map of the Washington/Oregon area.
Base map of the Washington/Oregon area.
Base map of the Washington/Oregon area.
Zoomed-in base map
Zoomed in base map.
Zoomed in base map.

Observing Systems

  • 11 Wind Profiling Radars
  • 17 Sodars
  • 5 Wind Profiling Lidars
  • 4 Microwave Radiometers
  • 4 Scanning Lidars, Including a Long-Range Wind Tracer Lidar
  • Ceilometer
  • 10 Microbarographs
  • 28 Sonic Anemometers
  • Surface Met And Solar Radiation Networks

Science Issues

  • Gap flows
  • Mountain waves and mountain wakes
  • Convective storm outflows
  • The mix-out of stable cold pools
  • Marine pushes
  • Boundary layer turbulence profiling


Numerical models that are being used for WFIP2 are WRF-based models including the NOAA RAP (Rapid Refresh) and High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR), as well as the NAM. The 13 km RAP and 3 km HRRR are run operationally at NWS, while experimental versions of both will be run at the NOAA Global Systems Laboratory using new physical parameterizations. In addition, a 750m nest of the HRRR will be run at Argonne National Laboratory.