A Theoretical Study of the Flow of Air and Fallout of Solid Precipitation Over Mountainous Terrain: Part I. Airflow Model

Alistair B. Fraser Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle 98195

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Richard C. Easter Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle 98195

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Peter V. Hobbs Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle 98195

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Abstract

A model for airflow over mountainous terrain is presented. The equations for steady, two-dimensional, laminar inviscid flow, including pseudo-adiabatic latent heat release, are derived. Approximate solutions to the linearized equations are obtained for stably stratified conditions, and a terrain consisting of broad ridges (width≳25 km), through an iterative transform technique which allows the nonlinear boundary conditions to be satisfied. The model indicates that the dynamical effects of latent heat are significant in some cases but are generally secondary to the barrier effect of the terrain.

Abstract

A model for airflow over mountainous terrain is presented. The equations for steady, two-dimensional, laminar inviscid flow, including pseudo-adiabatic latent heat release, are derived. Approximate solutions to the linearized equations are obtained for stably stratified conditions, and a terrain consisting of broad ridges (width≳25 km), through an iterative transform technique which allows the nonlinear boundary conditions to be satisfied. The model indicates that the dynamical effects of latent heat are significant in some cases but are generally secondary to the barrier effect of the terrain.

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