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The Temporal Behavior of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer in Israel

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  • a Department of Geography, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  • | b Israel Atomic Energy Commission, Soreq Nuclear Research Center, Yavne, Israel
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Abstract

Upper-air measurements collected for three consecutive years (1987–89) from the Israel Meteorological Service permanent sounding site, in Beit-Dagan, Israel, enabled the temporal behavior of the atmospheric boundary layer over Israel to be characterized. Data analyzed consisted of the layer depth, the thermal gradient within the layer, and occurrence frequency of radiative and elevated inversions. To adequately represent the multiyear seasonal and diurnal behavior, the 3-yr databases were merged based on the tested hypothesis that the month sample in each individual year comes from the same population. The analysis shows that the depth of the radiative ground-based inversion, its frequency, as well as its thermal profile are maximal during spring and early summer. The upper-inversion layer is well defined during the summer, its lowest base (0.5–1 km MSL) indicating a sharp interface layer formed between the marine turbulent boundary layer at the shallow layer of the atmosphere and the subsiding downward motion caused by the subtropical high pressure system. During the other three seasons a significant temporal variation of the upper-inversion base is observed as a result of the frequent larger-scale synoptic weather systems. The diurnal variation of the mixed-layer depth is most evident during the summer because it is mainly governed by heat fluxes and the daily sea-breeze cycle that are most intensive then. Henceforth, the layer minimal depth, along the coast, usually occurs during late afternoon hours when the wind speed of the cool sea breeze reaches its minimal rate and heat fluxes dissipate rapidly, leading to a decrease of the marine turbulent boundary layer.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Uri Dayan, Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus Campus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel.

msudayan@mscc.hugi.ac.il

Abstract

Upper-air measurements collected for three consecutive years (1987–89) from the Israel Meteorological Service permanent sounding site, in Beit-Dagan, Israel, enabled the temporal behavior of the atmospheric boundary layer over Israel to be characterized. Data analyzed consisted of the layer depth, the thermal gradient within the layer, and occurrence frequency of radiative and elevated inversions. To adequately represent the multiyear seasonal and diurnal behavior, the 3-yr databases were merged based on the tested hypothesis that the month sample in each individual year comes from the same population. The analysis shows that the depth of the radiative ground-based inversion, its frequency, as well as its thermal profile are maximal during spring and early summer. The upper-inversion layer is well defined during the summer, its lowest base (0.5–1 km MSL) indicating a sharp interface layer formed between the marine turbulent boundary layer at the shallow layer of the atmosphere and the subsiding downward motion caused by the subtropical high pressure system. During the other three seasons a significant temporal variation of the upper-inversion base is observed as a result of the frequent larger-scale synoptic weather systems. The diurnal variation of the mixed-layer depth is most evident during the summer because it is mainly governed by heat fluxes and the daily sea-breeze cycle that are most intensive then. Henceforth, the layer minimal depth, along the coast, usually occurs during late afternoon hours when the wind speed of the cool sea breeze reaches its minimal rate and heat fluxes dissipate rapidly, leading to a decrease of the marine turbulent boundary layer.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Uri Dayan, Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus Campus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel.

msudayan@mscc.hugi.ac.il

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