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The Energy Department has announced US$ 2.5 million for a new project to research the atmospheric processes that generate wind in mountain-valley regions. This in-depth research, conducted by Vaisala will be used to improve the wind industry's weather models for short-term wind forecasts.

This funding will allow Vaisala and its partners to use advanced meteorological equipment to analyse specific environmental characteristics that affect wind flow patterns in the Columbia River Gorge region of Washington and Oregon. Data collected during the project will be shared in near real-time with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Energy Department's national laboratories, and will be used to develop improved atmospheric simulations for the Weather Research and Forecasting model. These new wind measurements and simulations will also be incorporated into NOAA's Numerical Weather Prediction models to improve short-term wind forecasts in complex terrain.