National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1987

Coastal winds of the southeast Alaska Peninsula

Macklin, S.A.

NOAA Tech. Memo. ERL PMEL-73, NTIS: PB87-206173, 131 pp (1987)

Hourly measurements of wind speed and wind direction from Cherni Island, Thin Point, Cold Bay, and Ugaiushak Island during the latter half of 1984 and the first half of 1985 show evidence of orographic steering of winds in the coastal zone. Surface wind directions at Cherni Island, Thin Point, and Cold Bay often were attributable--30% of the time at Cherni Island and Thin Point, 50% of the time at Cold Bay--to channeling of the wind by a gap in the Aleutian Range. At Ugaiushak Island 30% of surface winds came from the WNW. It is likely that these winds followed a convoluted path through the mountains from the Meshik River valley to the southwest. Representations of topographically undisturbed surface winds for the same four locations over the period June 1984 through May 1985 were produced by turning and reducing gradient winds computed from digitized, 6-hourly, sea-level-pressure analyses obtained from the U.S. Navy's Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center. These wind estimates show a more evenly distributed wind direction population, with a slight tendency for winds to dominate from the NW and SE. Monthly correlation coefficients between measured and estimated u and v wind components ranged from 0.48 to 0.94. Because of anomalous winter and spring weather conditions, measured Cold Bay wind statistics for some months of the study do not compare favorably with climate averages. Yearly averages compare more favorably, and these statistics may be representative of normal conditions.

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