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On Severe Downslope Winds

Ronald B. SmithYale University, New Haven, CT

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Abstract

Recent observations and numerical experiments indicate that during severe downslope windstorms, a large region of slow turbulent air develops in the middle and upper troposphere while strong winds plunge underneath. A mathematical model of this severe wind state is developed using Long's equation. This theory predicts the altitude of the turbulent air, the strength of the winds, and the mountain drag. In the presence of a wind reversal, the theory indicates which wind reversal altitudes will lead to windstorm conditions.

Abstract

Recent observations and numerical experiments indicate that during severe downslope windstorms, a large region of slow turbulent air develops in the middle and upper troposphere while strong winds plunge underneath. A mathematical model of this severe wind state is developed using Long's equation. This theory predicts the altitude of the turbulent air, the strength of the winds, and the mountain drag. In the presence of a wind reversal, the theory indicates which wind reversal altitudes will lead to windstorm conditions.

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