Articles | Volume 13, issue 6
Research article
30 Jun 2020
Research article |  | 30 Jun 2020

Using global reanalysis data to quantify and correct airflow distortion bias in shipborne wind speed measurements

Sebastian Landwehr, Iris Thurnherr, Nicolas Cassar, Martin Gysel-Beer, and Julia Schmale

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Cited articles

Belmonte Rivas, M. and Stoffelen, A.: Characterizing ERA-Interim and ERA5 surface wind biases using ASCAT, Ocean Sci., 15, 831–852,, 2019. a, b, c, d, e, f
Bigorre, S. P., Weller, R. A., Edson, J. B., and Ware, J. D.: A Surface Mooring for Air–Sea Interaction Research in the Gulf Stream. Part II: Analysis of the Observations and Their Accuracies, J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., 30, 450–469,, 2012. a
Bourassa, M. A., Legler, D. M., O'Brien, J. J., and Smith, S. R.: SeaWinds validation with research vessels, J. Geophys. Res., 108, 3019,, 2003. a
Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) (2017): ERA5: Fifth Generation of ECMWF Atmospheric Reanalyses of the Global Climate, available at:!/home (last access: July 2019), 2017. a
ECMWF: Part II: Data Assimilation, in: IFS Documentation CY41R2, no. 2 in IFS Documentation, ECMWF, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Shinfield Park, Reading, RG2 9AX, England, 2016. a, b
Short summary
Shipborne wind speed measurements are relevant for field studies of air–sea interaction processes. Distortion of the airflow by the ship’s structure can, however, lead to errors. We estimate the flow distortion bias by comparing the observations to ERA-5 reanalysis data. The underlying assumptions are that the bias depends only on the relative orientation of the ship to the wind direction and that the ERA-5 wind speeds are (on average) representative of the true wind speed.