Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 225–250

Estimates of diabatic wind speed profiles from near-surface weather observations

  • A. A. M. Holtslag

DOI: 10.1007/BF00119790

Cite this article as:
Holtslag, A.A.M. Boundary-Layer Meteorol (1984) 29: 225. doi:10.1007/BF00119790


In this paper we analyse diabatic wind profiles observed at the 213 m meteorological tower at Cabauw, the Netherlands. It is shown that the wind speed profiles agree with the well-known similarity functions of the atmospheric surface layer, when we substitute an effective roughness length. For very unstable conditions, the agreement is good up to at least 200 m or z/L≃−7(z is height, L is Obukhov length scale). For stable conditions, the agreement is good up to z/L≃1. For stronger stability, a semi-empirical extension is given of the log-linear profile, which gives acceptable estimates up to ~ 100 m. A scheme is used for the derivation of the Obukhov length scale from single wind speed, total cloud cover and air temperature. With the latter scheme and the similarity functions, wind speed profiles can be estimated from near-surface weather data only. The results for wind speed depend on height and stability. Up to 80 m, the rms difference with observations Σ is on average ≃1.1 m s−1. At 200 m, Σ ≃ 0.8 m s−1 for very unstable conditions increasing to Σ ≃ 2.1 m s−1 for very stable conditions. The proposed methods simulate the diurnal variation of the 80 m wind speed very well. Also the simulated frequency distribution of the 80 m wind speed agrees well with the observed one. It is concluded that the proposed methods are applicable up to at least 100 m in generally level terrain.

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. M. Holtslag
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Netherlands Meteorological InstituteDe BiltThe Netherlands