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Jason K. S. Ching

Abstract

Data from Period III (19 June–2 July, 1969) of the Barbados Oceanographic and Meteorological Experiment (BOMEX) are used to compute the vorticity budget in the planetary boundary layer. The computed residual, assumed to be the curl of the stress, is then used to obtain an estimate of the drag coefficient. This estimate compares well with results obtained by other BOMEX investigators and in other independent experiments. The top of the planetary boundary layer is assumed to be located at the level where both the stress and stress gradient, computed from the momentum conservation equations, vanish. This is at approximately 1300 m, but tests indicate that the results are rather insensitive to assumed values in the range of 1300 to approximately 1600 m, the base of the trade-wind inversion. Computations for a relatively undisturbed period show a near-balance between anticyclonic vorticity generation by boundary layer divergence and vorticity destruction by friction. However, during a mildly disturbed period the advection and local change terms no longer appear to be negligible.

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Jason K. S. Ching
and
J. A. Businger

Abstract

The equations for horizontally homogeneous planetary boundary layer flow with constant eddy viscosity are integrated in time and height. The special case for which the direction of the pressure gradient force is a periodic function of time is studied in detail. The nondimensional number F=z(4Kt)−½ is seen to be the proper scale which describes the flow response to the boundary layer.

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