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Yansen Wang, Cheryl L. Klipp, Dennis M. Garvey, David A. Ligon, Chatt C. Williamson, Sam S. Chang, Rob K. Newsom, and Ronald Calhoun

Abstract

Boundary layer wind data observed by a Doppler lidar and sonic anemometers during the mornings of three intensive observational periods (IOP2, IOP3, and IOP7) of the Joint Urban 2003 (JU2003) field experiment are analyzed to extract the mean and turbulent characteristics of airflow over Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A strong nocturnal low-level jet (LLJ) dominated the flow in the boundary layer over the measurement domain from midnight to the morning hours. Lidar scans through the LLJ taken after sunrise indicate that the LLJ elevation shows a gradual increase of 25–100 m over the urban area relative to that over the upstream suburban area. The mean wind speed beneath the jet over the urban area is about 10%–15% slower than that over the suburban area. Sonic anemometer observations combined with Doppler lidar observations in the urban and suburban areas are also analyzed to investigate the boundary layer turbulence production in the LLJ-dominated atmospheric boundary layer. The turbulence kinetic energy was higher over the urban domain mainly because of the shear production of building surfaces and building wakes. Direct transport of turbulent momentum flux from the LLJ to the urban street level was very small because of the relatively high elevation of the jet. However, since the LLJ dominated the mean wind in the boundary layer, the turbulence kinetic energy in the urban domain is correlated directly with the LLJ maximum speed and inversely with its height. The results indicate that the jet Richardson number is a reasonably good indicator for turbulent kinetic energy over the urban domain in the LLJ-dominated atmospheric boundary layer.

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