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Atmosphere 2012, 3(4), 522-536; doi:10.3390/atmos3040522
Article

Low-Frequency Rotation of Surface Winds over Canada

*  and
Chalk River Laboratories, AECL, Stn 51A, CRL, Chalk River, ON K0J 1J0, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 June 2012 / Revised: 17 September 2012 / Accepted: 16 October 2012 / Published: 25 October 2012
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Abstract

Hourly surface observations from the Canadian Weather Energy and Engineering Dataset were analyzed with respect to long-term wind direction drift or rotation. Most of the Canadian landmass, including the High Arctic, exhibits a spatially consistent and remarkably steady anticyclonic rotation of wind direction. The period of anticyclonic rotation recorded at 144 out of 149 Canadian meteostations directly correlated with latitude and ranged from 7 days at Medicine Hat (50°N, 110°W) to 25 days at Resolute (75°N, 95°W). Only five locations in the vicinity of the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Coast were found to obey a “negative” (i.e., cyclonic) rotation. The observed anticyclonic rotation appears to be a deterministic, virtually ubiquitous, and highly persistent feature of continental surface wind. These findings are directly applicable to probabilistic assessments of airborne pollutants.
Keywords: low frequency variability; surface observations; wind direction low frequency variability; surface observations; wind direction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Korolevych, V.Y.; Richardson, R.B. Low-Frequency Rotation of Surface Winds over Canada. Atmosphere 2012, 3, 522-536.

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