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weatherwiz

Bufkit/MOS and Forecasting Wind

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I was hoping to gain some perspective in gaining further knowledge with wind forecasting using MOS and bufkit by hearing others experiences. Over the past several months having the opportunity to forecast for select locations across the country I've gained a tremendous amount of experience with weather all across the country and the challenges of forecasting. When I'm making wind forecasts (both wind direction, sustained winds, and potential gusts) I put alot of focus in bufkit, however, I'll also refer to MOS (more specifically for direction). Until I gain enough experience and confidence in the cities I forecast for I will at times check what the NWS has to say and compare to what I was thinking. 

I have noticed at times major differences between the NAM and GFS bufkit with regards to wind/gust potential (which stems down to I guess mixing and differences between the mixing algorithm (?) in each model and also sometimes a big difference between what I would interpret from bufkit and what the NWS has forecasted. 

For those who forecasts winds I would love to hear any experiences you have had with this and perhaps whats the best route to take when there are big differences.  

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On 9/14/2018 at 9:28 AM, weatherwiz said:

I was hoping to gain some perspective in gaining further knowledge with wind forecasting using MOS and bufkit by hearing others experiences. Over the past several months having the opportunity to forecast for select locations across the country I've gained a tremendous amount of experience with weather all across the country and the challenges of forecasting. When I'm making wind forecasts (both wind direction, sustained winds, and potential gusts) I put alot of focus in bufkit, however, I'll also refer to MOS (more specifically for direction). Until I gain enough experience and confidence in the cities I forecast for I will at times check what the NWS has to say and compare to what I was thinking. 

I have noticed at times major differences between the NAM and GFS bufkit with regards to wind/gust potential (which stems down to I guess mixing and differences between the mixing algorithm (?) in each model and also sometimes a big difference between what I would interpret from bufkit and what the NWS has forecasted. 

For those who forecasts winds I would love to hear any experiences you have had with this and perhaps whats the best route to take when there are big differences.  

BUFKIT is my go-to for forecasting wind gusts.  I use MOS as a secondary source to corroborate my train of thought. With BUFKIT, I always select "Momentum Transfer" and click '10' (which stands for 10mb).  The 1, 10, 20, 30 represent the thickness of a "barrier" layer in mb, where 10mb is suggested based on my experience in the field.  When you select Momentum Transfer, the bottom number is the mean mixed layer and the top number is the wind at the top of the mixed layer.  I generally use the bottom number (mean mixed layer) to give me a ballpark of what the wind gusts will be, and I use the top number only sparingly because most of the time that gust never mixes down to the surface since it is so high up.  I refer to the top number more as a "worst case scenario" gust.  There are other things you need to take into consideration as well when forecasting wind gusts such as cloud cover and strength of temperature advection (mainly CAA) just to name a couple but generally the values BUFKIT puts out are pretty good.

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On 12/5/2019 at 9:06 AM, It's Always Sunny said:

BUFKIT is my go-to for forecasting wind gusts.  I use MOS as a secondary source to corroborate my train of thought. With BUFKIT, I always select "Momentum Transfer" and click '10' (which stands for 10mb).  The 1, 10, 20, 30 represent the thickness of a "barrier" layer in mb, where 10mb is suggested based on my experience in the field.  When you select Momentum Transfer, the bottom number is the mean mixed layer and the top number is the wind at the top of the mixed layer.  I generally use the bottom number (mean mixed layer) to give me a ballpark of what the wind gusts will be, and I use the top number only sparingly because most of the time that gust never mixes down to the surface since it is so high up.  I refer to the top number more as a "worst case scenario" gust.  There are other things you need to take into consideration as well when forecasting wind gusts such as cloud cover and strength of temperature advection (mainly CAA) just to name a couple but generally the values BUFKIT puts out are pretty good.

Can't believe I missed this post!

I am thrilled for what you have had to say as it reinforces much of what I had sort of noted myself. That's also great information about the difference between top and bottom number...I think I used to use the top number quite a bit for gusts then started realizing it was a bit too aggressive so had started going with the bottom number. 

What I've found seem to find with bufkit is I don't think it handles winds out west very well. Some cities I forecast for are Oakland, CA, Ontario, CA, and Carlsbad, CA and just today I saw the HWW in Ontario and my forecasts for winds are way, way, way off 

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4 hours ago, weatherwiz said:

Can't believe I missed this post!

I am thrilled for what you have had to say as it reinforces much of what I had sort of noted myself. That's also great information about the difference between top and bottom number...I think I used to use the top number quite a bit for gusts then started realizing it was a bit too aggressive so had started going with the bottom number. 

What I've found seem to find with bufkit is I don't think it handles winds out west very well. Some cities I forecast for are Oakland, CA, Ontario, CA, and Carlsbad, CA and just today I saw the HWW in Ontario and my forecasts for winds are way, way, way off 

It may have to do with the lack of data over the ocean which models base their grid forecasts off of.  I'm not a modeler but it's just a thought because I forecast wind gusts out of the west quite frequently for other airports all over the CONUS and they verify more often than not.  For the stations I forecast for in CA it's not often I have to forecast gusty westerly winds unless it's in the Bay Area which come to think of it doesn't always verify, but that may be because of what I said above, or simply because of topographical influences (which I'm leaning more towards).  For SoCal, any gusts I forecast for are usually (almost always) Santa Ana related but those aren't westerly.

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