Unraveling January’s Storm Patterns: A Satellite View of North American Weather

Understanding the workings of the solar industry and what influences it is an aspect I am passionate about. Today, I’m fascinatingly exploring how the weather, particularly solar irradiance, impacts solar energy production. If you’re interested in installing solar panels for your home, this post is sure to shed light on this intricate yet crucial topic.

In a recent report released by Solcast, an eminent entity in the solar industry spectrum, North America’s solar irradiance was found to be below average for the second half of January. Notably, irradiance is an essential factor for solar companies as it’s the measure of the sun’s power output in a specific area, and it directly affects the productivity of a solar array for home use.

To understand this better, let’s consider the January condition. In the Northern regions, January typically witnesses the lowest monthly irradiance due to shorter days and the sun’s low position in the sky, compounded by winter storm fronts. This leaves locations further north with even lower daily irradiance, which consequently impacts the power obtained from solar assets.

Interestingly, the early days of January encountered a polar vortex, driven by a high-pressure Pacific system, leading to record-breaking low temperatures and below-average irradiance in areas like Vancouver. Mid-month, however, a shift led to reversing the patterns, with moisture and cloud from the Pacific shrouding the West Coast and thereby reducing the irradiance.

However, it wasn’t all dark and gloomy across North America. There was a strip of higher-than-average irradiance from Mexico to the Carolinas, excluding Florida, thanks to the humidity stream across Central America. The Gulf Coast saw irradiance 10 to 20% over the mean January levels.

The solar industry thrives on data, and companies like Solcast extrapolate this crucial information. They use satellite data and AI/ML algorithms to track clouds and aerosols, which helps calculate irradiance at a high resolution. Needless to say, this data is crucial for over 300 solar companies managing more than 150 GW of solar assets worldwide.

In conclusion, understanding solar irradiance is integral for individuals planning to install solar panels for their homes and firms operating in the domain. Awareness about such factors will help you make an informed decision and enable you to ensure your chosen solar company is well-equipped to manage these inevitable weather-based fluctuations. So, stay sun-savvy, and keep exploring the limitless potential of solar energy!

Original Articlehttps://pv-magazine-usa.com/2024/02/09/stormy-january-impacts-irradiance-across-north-america/

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