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

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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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) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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