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Horizontal Heat Fluxes over Complex Terrain Computed Using a Simple Mixed-Layer Model and a Numerical Model

Fujio KimuraGeophysical Institute, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

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Tuneo KuwagataTohoku National Agricultural Experiment Station, Morioka, Japan

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Abstract

The thermally induced local circulation over a periodic valley is simulated by a two-dimensional numerical model that does not include condensational processes. During the daytime of a clear, calm day, heat is transported from the mountainous region to the valley area by anabatic wind and its return flow. The specific humidity is, however, transported in an inverse manner. The horizontal exchange rate of sensible heat has a horizontal scale similarity, as long as the horizontal scale is less than a critical width of about 100 km.

The sensible heat accumulated in an atmospheric column over an arbitrary point can be estimated by a simple model termed the uniform mixed-layer model (UML). The model assumes that the potential temperature is both vertically and horizontally uniform in the mixed layer, even over the complex terrain. The UML model is valid only when the horizontal scale of the topography is less than the critical width and the maximum difference in the elevation of the topography is less than about 1500 m.

Latent heat is accumulated over the mountainous region while the atmosphere becomes dry over the valley area. When the horizontal scale is close to the critical width, the largest amount of humidity is accumulated during the late afternoon over the mountainous region.

Abstract

The thermally induced local circulation over a periodic valley is simulated by a two-dimensional numerical model that does not include condensational processes. During the daytime of a clear, calm day, heat is transported from the mountainous region to the valley area by anabatic wind and its return flow. The specific humidity is, however, transported in an inverse manner. The horizontal exchange rate of sensible heat has a horizontal scale similarity, as long as the horizontal scale is less than a critical width of about 100 km.

The sensible heat accumulated in an atmospheric column over an arbitrary point can be estimated by a simple model termed the uniform mixed-layer model (UML). The model assumes that the potential temperature is both vertically and horizontally uniform in the mixed layer, even over the complex terrain. The UML model is valid only when the horizontal scale of the topography is less than the critical width and the maximum difference in the elevation of the topography is less than about 1500 m.

Latent heat is accumulated over the mountainous region while the atmosphere becomes dry over the valley area. When the horizontal scale is close to the critical width, the largest amount of humidity is accumulated during the late afternoon over the mountainous region.

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