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  • Author or Editor: Johannes S. Wagner x
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Daniel Leukauf
,
Alexander Gohm
,
Mathias W. Rotach
, and
Johannes S. Wagner

Abstract

The breakup of a nocturnal temperature inversion during daytime is studied in an idealized valley by means of high-resolution numerical simulations. Vertical fluxes of heat and mass are strongly reduced as long as an inversion is present; hence it is important to understand the mechanisms leading to its removal. In this study breakup times are determined as a function of the radiative forcing. Further, the effect of the nocturnal inversion on the vertical exchange of heat and mass is quantified. The Weather Research and Forecasting Model is applied to an idealized quasi-two-dimensional valley. The net shortwave radiation is specified by a sine function with amplitudes between 150 and 850 W m−2 during daytime and at zero during the night. The valley inversion is eroded within 5 h for the strongest forcing. A minimal amplitude of 450 W m−2 is required to reach the breakup, in which case the inversion is removed after 11 h. Depending on the forcing amplitude, between 10% and 57% of the energy provided by the surface sensible heat flux is exported out of the valley during the whole day. The ratio of exported energy to provided energy is approximately 1.6 times as large after the inversion is removed as before. More than 5 times the valley air mass is turned over in 12 h for the strongest forcing, whereas the mass is turned over only 1.3 times for 400 W m−2.

Open access