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Title: A Numerical Study of the Thermally Driven Plain-to-Basin Wind over Idealized Basin Topographies

Abstract

We report that numerical experiments have been carried out with a two-dimensional nonhydrostatic mesoscale model to investigate the diurnal temperature range in a basin and the thermally driven plain-to-basin winds. Under clear-sky conditions, the diurnal temperature range in a basin is larger than over the surrounding plains due to a combination of larger turbulent sensible heat fluxes over the sidewalls and a volume effect in which energy fluxes are distributed through the smaller basin atmosphere. Around sunset, a thermally driven plain-to-basin flow develops, transporting air from the plains into the basin. Characteristics of this plain-to-basin wind are described for idealized basins bounded by sinusoidal mountains and the circumstances under which such winds might or might not occur are considered. In contrast with a previous numerical study, it is found that the height of the mixed layer over the plains relative to the mountain height is not a critical factor governing the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a plain-to-basin wind. The critical factor is the horizontal temperature gradient above mountain height created by a larger daytime heating rate over the basin topography than over the plains. Lastly, subsidence and turbulent heat flux divergence play important roles in this heating above mountain height.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1490032
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-29576
Journal ID: ISSN 0894-8763
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Meteorology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 37; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0894-8763
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

de Wekker, Stephan F. J., Zhong, Shiyuan, Fast, Jerome D., and Whiteman, C. David. A Numerical Study of the Thermally Driven Plain-to-Basin Wind over Idealized Basin Topographies. United States: N. p., 1998. Web. doi:10.1175/1520-0450(1998)037<0606:ANSOTT>2.0.CO;2.
de Wekker, Stephan F. J., Zhong, Shiyuan, Fast, Jerome D., & Whiteman, C. David. A Numerical Study of the Thermally Driven Plain-to-Basin Wind over Idealized Basin Topographies. United States. doi:10.1175/1520-0450(1998)037<0606:ANSOTT>2.0.CO;2.
de Wekker, Stephan F. J., Zhong, Shiyuan, Fast, Jerome D., and Whiteman, C. David. Mon . "A Numerical Study of the Thermally Driven Plain-to-Basin Wind over Idealized Basin Topographies". United States. doi:10.1175/1520-0450(1998)037<0606:ANSOTT>2.0.CO;2. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1490032.
@article{osti_1490032,
title = {A Numerical Study of the Thermally Driven Plain-to-Basin Wind over Idealized Basin Topographies},
author = {de Wekker, Stephan F. J. and Zhong, Shiyuan and Fast, Jerome D. and Whiteman, C. David},
abstractNote = {We report that numerical experiments have been carried out with a two-dimensional nonhydrostatic mesoscale model to investigate the diurnal temperature range in a basin and the thermally driven plain-to-basin winds. Under clear-sky conditions, the diurnal temperature range in a basin is larger than over the surrounding plains due to a combination of larger turbulent sensible heat fluxes over the sidewalls and a volume effect in which energy fluxes are distributed through the smaller basin atmosphere. Around sunset, a thermally driven plain-to-basin flow develops, transporting air from the plains into the basin. Characteristics of this plain-to-basin wind are described for idealized basins bounded by sinusoidal mountains and the circumstances under which such winds might or might not occur are considered. In contrast with a previous numerical study, it is found that the height of the mixed layer over the plains relative to the mountain height is not a critical factor governing the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a plain-to-basin wind. The critical factor is the horizontal temperature gradient above mountain height created by a larger daytime heating rate over the basin topography than over the plains. Lastly, subsidence and turbulent heat flux divergence play important roles in this heating above mountain height.},
doi = {10.1175/1520-0450(1998)037<0606:ANSOTT>2.0.CO;2},
journal = {Journal of Applied Meteorology},
number = 6,
volume = 37,
place = {United States},
year = {1998},
month = {6}
}

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