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Channeling and Countercurrent in the Upper Rhine Valley: Numerical Simulations

G. GrossDepartment of Meteorology, Technical University Darmstadt, Federal Republic of Germany

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F. WippermannDepartment of Meteorology, Technical University Darmstadt, Federal Republic of Germany

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Abstract

In the upper Rhine Valley, located in the southwest part of the Federal Republic of Germany, a pronounced channeling of the airflow is observed and occasionally also a countercurrent, although the valley is very flat and very broad (35 km), and its boundary mountains are no more than 500 m above the valley floor. Both channeling and countercurrents are simulated numerically with the nonhydrostatic mesoscale model FITNAH. These simulations are carried out for steady state conditions in a moderately stable stratified atmosphere for five different directions of the geostrophic wind (W, WNW, NW, NNW and N; the orientation of the valley is south to north). The results are shown by maps with streamlines at 30 m above ground by vertical cross sections and by three-dimensional trajectories.

Abstract

In the upper Rhine Valley, located in the southwest part of the Federal Republic of Germany, a pronounced channeling of the airflow is observed and occasionally also a countercurrent, although the valley is very flat and very broad (35 km), and its boundary mountains are no more than 500 m above the valley floor. Both channeling and countercurrents are simulated numerically with the nonhydrostatic mesoscale model FITNAH. These simulations are carried out for steady state conditions in a moderately stable stratified atmosphere for five different directions of the geostrophic wind (W, WNW, NW, NNW and N; the orientation of the valley is south to north). The results are shown by maps with streamlines at 30 m above ground by vertical cross sections and by three-dimensional trajectories.

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