A Novel Framework for Spatiotemporal Analysis of Temperature Profiles Applied to Europe

S. Jamaer*, D. Allaerts, J. Meyers, N. P.M. Van Lipzig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Vertical temperature profiles influence the wind power generation of large offshore wind farms through stability-dependent effects such as blockage and gravity waves. However, numerical tools that are used to model these effects are often computationally too expensive to cover the large variety of atmospheric states occurring over time. Generally, an informed decision about which representative nonidealized situations to simulate is missing because of the lack of easily available information on representative vertical profiles, taking into account their spatiotemporal variability. Therefore, we present a novel framework that allows a smart selection of vertical temperature profiles. The framework consists of an improved analytical temperature model for the atmospheric boundary layer and lower troposphere, a subsequent clustering of these profiles to identify representatives, and last, a determination of areas with similar spatiotemporal characteristics of vertical profiles. When applying this framework on European ERA5 data, physically realistic representatives were identified for Europe, excluding the Mediterranean. Two or three profiles were found to be dominant for the open ocean, whereas more profiles prevail for land. Over the open ocean, weak temperature gradients in the boundary layer and a clear capping inversions are widespread, and stable profiles are absent except in the region of the East Icelandic Current. Interestingly, according to the ERA5 data, at its resolution, coastal areas and seas surrounded by land behave more similar to the land areas than to the open ocean, implying that a larger set of model integrations are needed for these areas to obtain representative results for offshore wind power assessments in comparison with the open ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1855-1873
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Boundary layer
  • Clustering
  • Europe
  • Renewable energy
  • Temperature


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