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11/18/2022, 10:43 am EST

December/January 2022-23 Monthly Wind and Solar Outlook

EXPERIMENTAL Zonal/Meridional Wind Anomaly Forecast EXPERIMENTAL Specific Humidity Anomaly Forecast Valid: December 2022 and January 2023 Methodology discussion: The December/January 2022-23 zonal/meridional wind and solar forecast is based on a constructed analog (CA). The constructed analog identifies regional sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) that influence North America climate. Past similar SSTA regimes are accumulated, and their correlating climate patterns are used to project the most likely climate scenarios going forward from the next two months to generate this forecast. The wind/relative humidity anomaly forecast is experimental. Zonal (west-east) and meridional (north-south) anomalies are projected for wind generation use. The relative humidity at 850 MB (5,000 feet) is used to project low cloud potential interference with sunlight and similarly at 300 MB (30,000 feet) to project potential interference from high (cirrus) clouds.    Climate discussion: The CIC-CA forecast presented is based on the projected significant influence on North America climate of a persistent La Nina, Northeast Pacific marine heat wave and the combination of a warmer than normal North Atlantic basin coupled with a large cool pool of ocean water south and southeast of Greenland referred to as the North Atlantic warm hole (NAWH). December/January 2022-23 wind forecast: In December, the projected upper air pattern based on the CIC-CA forecast renders a persistent cold upper trough in Central Canada. However, the attendant cold and snow is likely to stay mostly in Canada while a milder and drier Pacific zonal flow stretches across the U.S. In December, zonal wind speed anomalies are stronger than normal across Western Canada and into the northwest quadrant of the U.S. (Fig. 1). Above normal zonal wind is also likely across wind power generating areas of Western Texas. However, elsewhere zonal wind speed anomalies are generally near normal. The meridional wind speed anomalies are well below normal on the West Coast and Nevada (Fig. 2). However, above normal north-south wind speeds are prevalent across the Southeast and East U.S. In January, above normal zonal wind speed continues across Southwest Canada and the leeward Rocky Mountains southward through Texas (Fig. 3). Below normal zonal wind speed anomalies are indicated for the Southwest and Northeast U.S. The meridional wind speed anomaly forecast for mid-winter indicates mostly below normal values for much of the U.S. (Fig. 4). In summary, the CIC-CA wind speed anomaly forecast for DEC/JAN 2022-23 does not indicate unusually anomalous wind speeds for wind power generation areas with the possible exception of Texas. Fig. 1-2: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies for the U.S. during December 2022. Fig. 3-4: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies for the U.S. during January 2023. December/January 2022-23 solar forecast: Interestingly, the December outlook features a nationally below normal relative humidity (RH) forecast at 850 MB with strongest anomalies in California and the leeward Southern Rockies (Fig. 5). Implied is below normal cloud cover for much of the U.S. at 5,000 feet where most clouds producing precipitation occur. December could be an unusually dry month for the U.S. At 30,000 feet where cirrus could hinder sunlight intensity, the December 300 MB RH anomaly forecast is below normal across the Southwest U.S. especially California (Fig. 6). Sunlight intensity is at an annual minimum during DEC/JAN although in December sunlight amount is likely much above normal for solar power generation areas across the Southwest U.S. In January, the below normal RH pattern at both the low and high cloud etage continues across much of the U.S. (Fig. 7-8). Fig. 5-6: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of 850 MB (low cloud) and 300 MB (high cloud) specific humidity anomalies for the U.S. during December 2022. Fig. 7-8: Experimental Climate Impact Company constructed analog forecast of 850 MB (low cloud) and 300 MB (high cloud) specific humidity anomalies for the U.S. during January 2023.  
11/13/2022, 10:30 am EST

Remainder of November 2022 Wind and Solar Outlook

Remainder of November 2022 Outlook Wind Outlook Discussion: Moderate to high wind is forecast for the next several days across Northern California as strong high pressure extends from southern Canada to the Great Basin and forces gusty north and east wind into northern California (Fig. 1). Mid-to-late this week and into early next week lighter wind is expected. Later this month, arrival of a Pacific upper-level low-pressure trough will spawn a period of increasing westerly wind across northern California. In Southern California, wind power generation is “moderate” today and Wednesday, due to increasing easterlies (Fig. 2). After the short-term events, wind generation is weak for the remainder of November. Wind generation is not a problem across Texas for mid-to-late November as at least moderate risk is present most of the time (Fig. 3). A moderate southerly wind will develop for early this week across Texas followed by chilly northerlies Monday night. A cold burst (with moderate north wind) for mid-to-late week is likely. Return-flow southwesterlies early next week followed by another cool outbreak featuring gusty northerlies around Thanksgiving is expected in Texas. Fig. 1: Wind generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for Northern California. Fig. 2: Wind generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for Southern California. Fig. 3: Wind generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for Texas. Solar Outlook Discussion: Near peak solar generation capability (for November) is forecast across California through the next week as high pressure dominates and skies are generally clear across the state (Fig. 4). However, the last 7-10 days of November feature increased exposure to Pacific westerlies across Northern California therefore increased cloud (and rain/snow) risk is likely. Consequently, state wind average for solar generation capability lowers for the last third of November. In Texas, despite sharp air mass changes, the solar generation potential is moderate through the next 10 days with 2 or 3 days close to ideal (Fig. 5). There may be 2 or 3 days when solar generation is suppressed more so than indicated in the 10-day forecast. In the extended-range, cloud cover may be near or above normal with wet weather risk due to a moisture fetch off the Gulf of Mexico. Fig. 4: Solar generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for CAISO. Fig. 5: Solar generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for ERCOT.  
11/13/2022, 9:25 am EST

October 2022 Wind/Solar Verification Report

Discussion: In October 2022, a persistent upper-level low-pressure trough dominated the East while a high-pressure ridge dropped anchor on the Northwest States. The sensible weather result was anomalous warmth across the West and New England while a cool pattern resided in the Southeast. Washington state was record warm. Nationally, October 2022 ranked in the top 20% driest on record. California, Minnesota and Florida were close to (or inside of) the top 10 driest months of October on record. Arizona and New Mexico observed a wetter than normal month of October. During October 2022, low-level cloudiness was above normal across the Southwest U.S. related to the wetter than normal monthly climate (Fig. 1). The high-level cloudiness was above normal to the east of this wet zone across west/southwest Texas (Fig. 2). Elsewhere, the upper trough in the East kept most attendant rainfall near or just-off the Atlantic Seaboard. Consequently, areas to the west observed above normal sunlight as demonstrated by negative specific humidity values at both 850 and 300 MB across the eastern half of the U.S. The Climate Impact Company October 2022 low-level (850 MB) and high-level (300 MB) anomalous moisture (cloud cover) forecast indicated above normal cloudiness (and attendant rainfall) in the East U.S. (Fig. 3). The wet weather pattern verified farther east and just offshore. The outlook across the Southwest U.S. was drier than normal and therefore more sunshine than average. This projection failed as lingering Southwest Monsoon moisture was present bot at low and high level (Fig. 4). Fig. 1-2: October 2022 observed 850 MB and 300 MB specific humidity anomalies. Fig. 3-4: October 2022 forecast of 850 MB and 300 MB specific humidity anomalies. On average, the U.S. anomalous wind was below average speed in October 2022. The lighter than normal zonal wind was particularly notable in the Southwest U.S. and New England (Fig. 5). Meridional wind was below normal across parts of the Northwest Coast, Great Basin and southern Great Plains (Fig. 6). The only notable above normal wind was zonal in character on the Gulf Coast and meridional for Interior Southern California and Northern New England. The Climate Impact Company zonal and meridional wind speed anomaly forecast indicated a below normal regime for Northern California and New England and above normal for Texas (Fig. 7). The meridional wind speed anomaly forecast was fairly aggressive with below normal wind speeds for the Northwest and Great Plains with above normal wind speed for the Southeast U.S. (Fig. 8). Verification results were reasonable in California and the Northeast for zonal wind although the forecast did not extend the below normal zonal wind forecast far enough across Arizona and New Mexico. The meridional wind speed anomaly forecast produced the correct character for the Northwest and Central U.S. although the Southeast was not as windy as forecast. Fig. 5-6: October 2022 observed zonal and meridional wind anomalies. Fig. 7-8: October 2022 forecast of zonal and meridional wind anomalies.
10/11/2022, 1:01 pm EDT

October Wind and Solar Outlook for October 2022

Wind Outlook Discussion: In this report, our concern is with California and Texas. All models are considered to help identify any peak wind generation events and their catalyst. Beginning with Northern California (Fig. 1), unusual high wind events in the 15-day forecast are not expected. However, several periods of moderate wind are indicated. Today through Thursday offers a light to sometimes moderate northeast to southeast wind. A similar weather wet-up brings a stronger easterly wind on Saturday into Sunday. ECMWF is strongest with this event. On October 23-24, moderate to strong northwest wind trailing a Pacific cold front is expected. In Southern California (Fig. 2), several events are indicated featuring moderate wind power generation potential. However, each may be over-forecast given questionable synoptic dynamics. Each event indicated are east-southeasterlies driven by low-pressure near the southern California Coast. In Texas (Fig. 3), the events identified are supported by synoptic events. Briefly windy trailing a passing cold front tonight/tomorrow followed by more favorable wind generation episodes this weekend and early next week. Southwesterlies are moderate this weekend ahead of a cold front. Easterlies trailing that cold front are more impressive early next week. Each event can last 2 days. A period of moderate southwesterlies is indicated for 2 to 3 days centered on October 21-23. Fig. 1: Wind generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for Northern California. Fig. 2: Wind generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for Southern California. Fig. 3: Wind generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for Texas. Solar Outlook Discussion: The 15-day outlook indicates a peak event (which is about 85% of the absolute peak this time of year) across CAISO is present late this week and through the weekend as clouds in Southern California break (Fig. 4). GFS returns cloudiness on the weekend and consequently this forecast is made with below average confidence. Another peak event occurs October 19-20. Across ERCOT (Fig. 5), separate peak events are more clearly defined. Peak solar generation potential (for October) is indicated on Oct. 13 followed by a 2-day event on Oct. 19-20 and a 3rd episode Oct. 26-27. Sunny and dry weather across Texas is about to give way to periodic rain and clouds. Fig. 4: Solar generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for CAISO. Fig. 5: Solar generation potential using all models through the next 15 days for ERCOT.