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Berlin Environmental Atlas

04.03 Near Ground Wind Speeds

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Wind Direction and Wind Speed

In Berlin different long-term measurement series for the horizontal wind conditions can be found for different wind measurement stations. The meteorological station at the airfield Tempelhof gives, in comparison to all other stations, the least disturbed and for regional standards the most representative wind speed measurements (cf. SenStadtUm 1994).

In the regional standard, the wind conditions in Berlin are determined through the situation in the transition between continental and more oceanic climate. Certainly the west - to northwest winds correspond to the oceanic component with mainly less polluted sea air. The east - to southeast winds correspond to the continental component with lower wind speeds and above all the higher pollutant concentration in the winter (cf. Fig. 2 and Fig. 3). Within the city boundaries however, small scale elements, like temperature - and pressure differences between different city structures also influence the wind currents.

Figure 2
Fig. 2: Relative Frequency of Hourly Averages for Wind Direction and Speed at the Station Tempelhof Airport 1975-1990, Measurement Height 10 m (Institut für Industrieaerodynamik 1993)

The distribution of the wind directions for the Berlin region is representative for both day - as well as night hours (cf. Fig. 2). The most frequent wind direction is west with 21 % of all hours, followed by southwest with 16 %. At both wind directions wind speeds > 4 m/s appear with the most frequency. North and north east are represented as wind directions of least frequency.

The mean wind speed (averaged over the year) is greatest (cf. Fig. 3) at the most frequent wind directions (west and southwest). Winds from the southeast display, on average, the lowest wind speeds. The annual course of the wind speed has its maximum in the winter and its minimum in the summer months.

Figure 3
Fig. 3: Mean Wind Speeds in the Course of the Year and in Relation to the Wind Direction at the Station Tempelhof Airport 1975 - 1990, Measurement Height 10 m (Deutscher Wetterdienst 1993)

Emission-climatologically unfavorable weather conditions with wind speeds < 2 m/s and/or lulls have been registered at 18 %. As mentioned, in the winter the frequency distribution shifts in favor of higher wind speeds.

From this standpoint, the open monitoring site Tempelhof airport is neither altogether nor during the winter months to be ranked as an emission-climatologically unfavorable location.

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