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Resolved Turbulence Characteristics in Large-Eddy Simulations Nested within Mesoscale Simulations Using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model

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  • 1 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California
  • 2 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • 3 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California
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Abstract

One-way concurrent nesting within the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) is examined for conducting large-eddy simulations (LES) nested within mesoscale simulations. Wind speed, spectra, and resolved turbulent stresses and turbulence kinetic energy from the nested LES are compared with data from nonnested simulations using periodic lateral boundary conditions. Six different subfilter-scale (SFS) stress models are evaluated using two different nesting strategies under geostrophically forced flow over both flat and hilly terrain. Neutral and weakly convective conditions are examined. For neutral flow over flat terrain, turbulence appears on the nested LES domains only when using the two dynamic SFS stress models. The addition of small hills and valleys (wavelengths of 2.4 km and maximum slopes of ± 10°) yields small improvements, with all six models producing some turbulence on nested domains. Weak convection (surface heat fluxes of 10 W m−2) further accelerates the development of turbulence on all nested domains. However, considerable differences in key parameters are observed between the nested LES domains and their nonnested counterparts. Nesting of a finer LES within a coarser LES provides superior results to using only one nested LES domain. Adding temperature and velocity perturbations near the inlet planes of nested domains shows promise as an easy-to-implement method to accelerate turbulence generation and improve its accuracy on nested domains.

Current affiliation: Department of Energy Systems Engineering, Kadir Has University, Kadir Has Caddesi, Cibali, Istanbul, Turkey.

Corresponding author address: Jeff Mirocha, Atmospheric, Earth and Energy Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, L-103, Livermore, CA 94551. E-mail: mirocha2@llnl.gov

Abstract

One-way concurrent nesting within the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) is examined for conducting large-eddy simulations (LES) nested within mesoscale simulations. Wind speed, spectra, and resolved turbulent stresses and turbulence kinetic energy from the nested LES are compared with data from nonnested simulations using periodic lateral boundary conditions. Six different subfilter-scale (SFS) stress models are evaluated using two different nesting strategies under geostrophically forced flow over both flat and hilly terrain. Neutral and weakly convective conditions are examined. For neutral flow over flat terrain, turbulence appears on the nested LES domains only when using the two dynamic SFS stress models. The addition of small hills and valleys (wavelengths of 2.4 km and maximum slopes of ± 10°) yields small improvements, with all six models producing some turbulence on nested domains. Weak convection (surface heat fluxes of 10 W m−2) further accelerates the development of turbulence on all nested domains. However, considerable differences in key parameters are observed between the nested LES domains and their nonnested counterparts. Nesting of a finer LES within a coarser LES provides superior results to using only one nested LES domain. Adding temperature and velocity perturbations near the inlet planes of nested domains shows promise as an easy-to-implement method to accelerate turbulence generation and improve its accuracy on nested domains.

Current affiliation: Department of Energy Systems Engineering, Kadir Has University, Kadir Has Caddesi, Cibali, Istanbul, Turkey.

Corresponding author address: Jeff Mirocha, Atmospheric, Earth and Energy Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, L-103, Livermore, CA 94551. E-mail: mirocha2@llnl.gov
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