A Numerical Model Study of Nocturnal Drainage Flows with Strong Wind and Temperature Gradients

T. Yamada Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

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S. Bunker Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

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Abstract

A second-moment turbulence-closure model described in Yamada and Bunker is used to simulate nocturnal drainage flows observed during the 1984 ASCOT field expedition in Brush Creek, Colorado. In order to simulate the observed strong wind directional shear and temperature gradients, two modifications are added to the model. The strong wind directional shear was maintained by introducing a “nudging” term in the equation of motion to guide the modeled winds in the layers above the ridge top toward the observed wind direction. The second modification was accomplished by reformulating the conservation equation for the potential temperature in such a way that only the deviation from the horizontally averaged value was prognostically computed.

The vegetation distribution used in this study is undoubtedly crude. Nevertheless, the present simulation suggests that tall tree canopy can play an important role in producing inhomogeneous wind distribution, particularly in the levels below the canopy top.

Abstract

A second-moment turbulence-closure model described in Yamada and Bunker is used to simulate nocturnal drainage flows observed during the 1984 ASCOT field expedition in Brush Creek, Colorado. In order to simulate the observed strong wind directional shear and temperature gradients, two modifications are added to the model. The strong wind directional shear was maintained by introducing a “nudging” term in the equation of motion to guide the modeled winds in the layers above the ridge top toward the observed wind direction. The second modification was accomplished by reformulating the conservation equation for the potential temperature in such a way that only the deviation from the horizontally averaged value was prognostically computed.

The vegetation distribution used in this study is undoubtedly crude. Nevertheless, the present simulation suggests that tall tree canopy can play an important role in producing inhomogeneous wind distribution, particularly in the levels below the canopy top.

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