The Diabatic Pressure Difference: A New Diagnostic for the Analysis of Valley Winds

Juerg Schmidli Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to introduce a new diagnostic measure of the time-integrated diabatic (thermal) forcing of a valley–plain system. This measure can be used to synchronize the evolution of thermally induced valley winds with respect to their forcing. Differences among numerical models or model configurations originating from diabatic forcing versus those originating from the model dynamics (e.g., turbulence scheme, dynamical core, etc.) can then be distinguished.

Corresponding author address: Juerg Schmidli, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Universitaetsstrasse 16, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland. E-mail: jschmidli@env.ethz.ch

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to introduce a new diagnostic measure of the time-integrated diabatic (thermal) forcing of a valley–plain system. This measure can be used to synchronize the evolution of thermally induced valley winds with respect to their forcing. Differences among numerical models or model configurations originating from diabatic forcing versus those originating from the model dynamics (e.g., turbulence scheme, dynamical core, etc.) can then be distinguished.

Corresponding author address: Juerg Schmidli, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Universitaetsstrasse 16, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland. E-mail: jschmidli@env.ethz.ch
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  • Chow, F. K., A. P. Weigel, R. L. Street, M. W. Rotach, and M. Xue, 2006: High-resolution large-eddy simulations of flow in a steep Alpine valley. Part I: Methodology, verification, and sensitivity experiments. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 45, 6386.

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  • Schmidli, J., and R. Rotunno, 2010: Mechanisms of along-valley winds and heat exchange over mountainous terrain. J. Atmos. Sci., 67, 30333047.

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  • Schmidli, J., and R. Rotunno, 2012: Influence of the valley surroundings on valley wind dynamics. J. Atmos. Sci., in press.

  • Schmidli, J., G. S. Poulos, M. H. Daniels, and F. K. Chow, 2009: External influences on nocturnal thermally driven flows in a deep valley. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 48, 323.

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  • Schmidli, J., and Coauthors, 2011: Intercomparison of mesoscale model simulations of the daytime valley wind system. Mon. Wea. Rev., 139, 13891409.

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  • Weigel, A. P., F. K. Chow, M. W. Rotach, R. L. Street, and M. Xue, 2006: High-resolution large-eddy simulations of flow in a steep Alpine valley. Part II: Flow structure and heat budgets. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 45, 87107.

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  • Whiteman, C. D., 2000: Mountain Meteorology: Fundamentals and Applications. Oxford University Press, 355 pp.

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