Observations of wind speed profiles over Greater London, UK, using a Doppler lidar
Drew, D. R., Barlow, J. F. and Lane, S. E. (2013) Observations of wind speed profiles over Greater London, UK, using a Doppler lidar. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 121. pp. 98-105. ISSN 0167-6105
To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.jweia.2013.07.019
To calculate the potential wind loading on a tall building in an urban area, an accurate representation of the wind speed profile is required. However, due to a lack of observations, wind engineers typically estimate the characteristics of the urban boundary layer by translating the measurements from a nearby reference rural site. This study presents wind speed profile data obtained from a Doppler lidar in central London, UK, during an 8 month observation period. Used in conjunction with wind speed data measured at a nearby airport, the data have been used to assess the accuracy of the predictions made by the wind engineering tools currently available. When applied to multiple changes in surface roughness identified from morphological parameters, the non-equilibrium wind speed profile model developed by Deaves (1981) provides a good representation of the urban wind speed profile. For heights below 500 m, the predicted wind speed remains within the 95% confidence interval of the measured data. However, when the surface roughness is estimated using land use as a proxy, the model tends to overestimate the wind speed, particularly for very high wind speed periods. These results highlight the importance of a detailed assessment of the nature of the surface when estimating the wind speed above an urban surface.