Wind Speeds Increasing, with Texas Showing Best Average

Wind speeds were lower the first part of the year. Lower than normal wind conditions dominated the US in Q1 of 2010. These conditions were caused by a combination of a mild positive El Nino (ENSO) event with a strongly negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) event.

Wind speed across the USA increasing!However, Q2 of 2010 saw a significant rebound with many areas of the country experiencing above average wind speeds. This effect is particularly noted in the western US, extending from Washington State to Texas. Note the map below. The white and blue areas have low winds, the orange and red areas are areas with excellent winds, where wind turbines would be considered good electricity generators. The "orange and red" areas showed good increases in wind speeds in the second quarter of 2010.

The increase is due to a weakening of the ENSO and NAO effects that so greatly impacted wind speeds at the end of 2009 and in Q1 of 2010. A result of these waning climatic events, Q2 experienced prevalent storm activity off the Pacific Coast, which played a large role in the overall wind speed increases.

Thus while scattered areas had above average wind speeds, many regions of the US are still below average for January through June. Those would be the blue areas on the map.

Texas, however, has been a bright spot in the study. While Texas experienced wind speeds well below average in Q1, the recovery in Q2 pushed its 6 month average above normal.