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A Second-Order Bulk Boundary-Layer Model

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • | 2 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

Bulk mass-flux models represent the large eddies that are primarily responsible for the turbulent fluxes in the planetary boundary layer as convective circulations, with an associated convective mass flux. In order for such models to be useful, it is necessary to determine the fractional area covered by rising motion in the convective circulations. This fraction can be used as an estimate of the cloud amount, under certain conditions. “Matching” conditions have been developed that relate the convective mass flux to the ventilation and entrainment mass fluxes. These are based on conservation equations for the scalar means and variances in the entrainment and ventilation layers. Methods are presented to determine both the fractional area covered by rising motion and the convective mass flux. The requirement of variance balance is used to relax the “well-mixed” assumption. The vertical structures of the mean state and the turbulent fluxes are determined analytically. Several aspects of this simple model's formulation are evaluated using results from large-eddy simulations.

Abstract

Bulk mass-flux models represent the large eddies that are primarily responsible for the turbulent fluxes in the planetary boundary layer as convective circulations, with an associated convective mass flux. In order for such models to be useful, it is necessary to determine the fractional area covered by rising motion in the convective circulations. This fraction can be used as an estimate of the cloud amount, under certain conditions. “Matching” conditions have been developed that relate the convective mass flux to the ventilation and entrainment mass fluxes. These are based on conservation equations for the scalar means and variances in the entrainment and ventilation layers. Methods are presented to determine both the fractional area covered by rising motion and the convective mass flux. The requirement of variance balance is used to relax the “well-mixed” assumption. The vertical structures of the mean state and the turbulent fluxes are determined analytically. Several aspects of this simple model's formulation are evaluated using results from large-eddy simulations.

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