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Steven Businger and Joost A. Businger

Abstract

In this note the magnitude of the viscous dissipation of turbulence kinetic energy in the surface layer of storms is investigated. It is shown that the layer-integrated dissipative heating is a cubic function of the wind speed. The magnitude of the estimated heating at higher wind speeds confirms the importance to storm evolution of this term in the turbulence kinetic energy equation and suggests that dissipative energy should be included in numerical weather prediction models, particularly in models that resolve mesoscale structures in storms. A general discussion of the implications of the results for the energetics of a range of storm systems is provided.

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Steven A. Stage and Joost A. Businger

Abstract

The model for the cloud-topped marine boundary layer presented by Stage and Businger (1981) is discussed and compared with previous models. Our model gives a considerably different interpretation of the energetics of the layer and indicates that a much higher fraction (20%) of the layer turbulence kinetic energy production is available to drive entrainment than previously supposed. In a test case, the Lilly (1968) minimum entrainment model gives entrainment rates similar to ours; however, this model is based on physically unrealistic assumptions about layer energetics. It is noted that two soundings from the International Field Year for the Great Lakes (IFYGL) exhibit behavior not allowed by Deardorff’s (1976) model. In these cases our model gives a good fit to the data and Deardorff’s model predicted a boundary layer much deeper than observed. The depth of the layer of radiative cooling at cloud top is shown to be important only if it is a significant fraction of the mixed-layer depth zB. Layer energetics are shown to prevent the cloud-top entrainment instability condition from causing much difference in theentrainment rate

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Steven A. Stage and Joost A. Businger

Abstract

A model is presented for the growth and evolution of a cloud-topped marine boundary layer. In this model the entrainment rate is determined from the turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) budget. It is assumed that the TKE budget can be partitioned according to whether each process produces TKE or converts it into potential energy, and that dissipation is proportional to production. This leads to an entrainment relationship which is considerably different than used in previous cloud-topped models.

This model is used to study an episode of cold-air outbreak over Lake Ontario during the International Field Year for the Great Lakes (IFYGL). The model reproduces changes in potential temperature and dew point as the air crossed the lake and the associated time variation of these parameters at the down-wind shore with an accuracy of better than 1°C. Model and measured soundings closely match, especially with respect to the presence and location of such features as cloud layers. Depth of the mixed layer also was generally well modeled. Use of divergences measured by the lakewide IFYGL buoy network did not give good agreement with the data. It is believed that this indicates that mixed-layer depth is sensitive to divergences at a smaller scale than the size of the lake.

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Ian Morrison, Steven Businger, Frank Marks, Peter Dodge, and Joost A. Businger

Abstract

Doppler velocity data from Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) radars during four hurricane landfalls are analyzed to investigate the presence of organized vortices in the hurricane boundary layer (HBL). The wavelength, depth, magnitude, and track of velocity anomalies were compiled through analysis of Doppler velocity data. The analysis reveals alternating bands of enhanced and reduced azimuthal winds closely aligned with the mean wind direction. Resulting statistics provide compelling evidence for the presence of organized secondary circulations or boundary layer rolls across significant areas during four hurricane landfalls. The results confirm previous observations of the presence of rolls in the HBL. A potential limitation of the study presented here is the resolution of the WSR-88D data. In particular, analysis of higher-resolution data (e.g., from the Doppler on Wheels) is needed to confirm that data aliasing has not unduly impacted the statistics reported here. Momentum fluxes associated with the secondary circulations are estimated using the covariance between the horizontal and vertical components of the wind fluctuations in rolls, with resulting fluxes 2–3 times greater than estimated by parameterizations in numerical weather prediction models. The observational analysis presented here, showing a prevalence of roll vortices in the HBL, has significant implications for the vertical transport of energy in hurricanes, for the character of wind damage, and for improvements in numerical simulations of hurricanes.

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Ian Morrison, Steven Businger, Frank Marks, Peter Dodge, and Joost A. Businger
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Steven P. Oncley, Carl A. Friehe, John C. Larue, Joost A. Businger, Eric C. Itsweire, and Sam S. Chang

Abstract

An atmospheric surface-layer experiment over a nearly uniform plowed field was performed to determine the constants in the flux-profile similarity formulas, particularly the von Kármán constant. New instruments were constructed to minimize flow distortion effects on the turbulence measurements and to provide high-resolution gradient measurements. In addition, a hot-wire anemometer directly measured the turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate.

An average value of the von Kármán constant of 0.365 ± 0.015 was obtained from 91 runs (31 h) in near-neutral stability conditions. However, four near-neutral runs when snow covered the ground gave an average value of 0.42. This result suggests that the von Kármán constant depends on the roughness Reynolds number, which may resolve some of the differences in previous determinations over different surfaces. The one-dimensional Kolmogorov inertial subrange constant was found to have a value of 0.54 ± 0.03, slightly larger than previous results.

The flux-profile relations for momentum and temperature variance were evaluated, and humidity variance data behaved similarly to temperature. Dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy was found to be less than production under near-neutral conditions, which suggests that turbulent or pressure transport may be significant.

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