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Mapping terrain's influence on wind directions

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I am brainstorming for a project and am thinking about mapping how terrain affects local wind directions.

I'd would like to produce a map showing wind direction with arrows (see image). This is at a much coarser scale than I am interested in.

I would like to be able to take an area of interest (1000 acre ranch for example), input the generalized wind direction and
then model how this would play out on the landscape (probably use a DEM for this). I know there would be many assumptions etc. but I am curious if this could be modeled.

Does anyone have experience with this sort of work or suggestions as to where I could learn more?

thanks in advance,


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This can be done but it is a much more complex to do than i think you perhaps realise, this is by virtue of the complex physics that governs the 3D motion of moving air.

To do what you want properly, to get an answer you can have confidence in, you would need to run a numerical weather prediction model at a very high resolution, initialising it with either real weather data+output from a previous model run, or with ideal, contrived data.

The way this is normally done is to run the model for a larger region, say a 100 x100 km or larger, nesting one or more sucessively higher resolution versions of the same model inside the lower resolution ones. Be prepared to perform a lot of computation.

There are several public domain NWP models available that you could use. The WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting ) model is probably the most advanced and is now widely used. See:




The possible drawback, is that WRF executables are only supplied for Linux systems, not Windows the last time i checked.

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