Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 35 items for

  • Author or Editor: Qingfang Jiang x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Qingfang Jiang

Abstract

Many topographic barriers are comprised of a series of concave or convex ridges that modulate the intensity and distribution of precipitation over mountainous areas. In this model-based idealized study, stratiform precipitation associated with stratified moist airflow past idealized concave ridges is investigated with a focus on windward blocking, flow confluence, and the associated precipitation enhancement.

It is found that flow confluence and precipitation enhancement by a concave ridge are controlled by the nondimensional ridge height M (M = Nmhm/U, where Nm is the moist buoyancy frequency, hm is the maximum ridge height, and U is the wind speed), based on which three dynamical regimes can be defined. In the linear regime (M < 0.4), a flow confluence zone is present over the upwind slope of the ridge vertex, where precipitation is significantly enhanced. The precipitation enhancement is due to the additional updraft driven by the horizontal flow convergence with a considerable contribution from lateral confluence. In the blocking regime (0.4 < M < Mc), the area and intensity of the flow confluence zone decrease with increasing mountain height due to low-level blocking. The critical nondimensional ridge height (Mc) for windward flow stagnation decreases with increasing concave angle. In the two regimes, flow confluence and precipitation enhancement are more pronounced for concave ridges with a longer cross-stream dimension or a larger concave angle. In the flow reversal regime (M > Mc), no steady state can be achieved and the precipitation enhancement at the vertex is absent.

In addition, the flow confluence and precipitation enhancement upstream of a concave ridge are sensitive to the presence of a relative gap or peak at the vertex, the earth’s rotation, and the incident wind. The relevant dynamics has been examined.

Full access
Qingfang Jiang

Abstract

Land–sea breezes (LSBs) induced by diurnal differential heating are examined using a three-dimensional linear model employing fast Fourier transform with emphasis on the complex coastline shape and geometry, the earth’s rotation, and background wind effects. It has been demonstrated that the low-level vertical motion associated with LSB can be significantly enhanced over a bay (peninsula) because of convergence of perturbations induced by differential heating along a seaward concave (convex) coastline. The dependence of surface winds and vertical motion patterns and their evolutions on the coastline geometries such as the width and the aspect ratio of the bay, the earth’s rotation, and the background winds are investigated.

The LSB induced by an isolated tropical island is characterized by onshore flow and ascent over the island in the afternoon to early evening, with a reversal of direction from midnight to early morning. The diurnal heating–induced vertical motion is greatly enhanced over the island and weakened offshore because of the convergence and divergence of perturbations. In the presence of background flow, stronger diurnal perturbations are found at the downwind side of the island, which can extend far downstream associated with inertia–gravity waves.

Full access
Qingfang Jiang

Abstract

The influence of swell on turbulence and scalar profiles in a marine surface layer and underlying physics is examined in this study through diagnosis of large-eddy simulations (LES) that explicitly resolve the surface layer and underlying swell. In general, under stable conditions, the mean wind and scalar profiles can be significantly modified by swell. The influence of swell on wind shear, turbulence structure, scalar profiles, and evaporation duct (ED) characteristics becomes less pronounced in a more convective boundary layer, where the buoyancy production of turbulence is significant. Dynamically, swell has little direct impact on scalar profiles. Instead it modifies the vertical wind shear by exerting pressure drag on the wave boundary layer. The resulting redistribution of vertical wind shear leads to changes in turbulence production and therefore turbulence mixing of scalars. Over swell, the eddy diffusivities from LES systematically deviate from the Monin–Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) prediction, implying that MOST becomes invalid over a swell-dominated sea. The deviations from MOST are more pronounced in a neutral or stable boundary layer under relatively low winds and less so in a convective boundary layer.

Free access
Qingfang Jiang

Abstract

Characteristics and dynamics of offshore diurnal waves induced by land–sea differential heating are examined using linear theory. Two types of heating profiles are investigated, namely a shallow heating source confined within an atmospheric boundary layer (BL) and a deep heating source located above the boundary layer.

It is demonstrated that a boundary layer top inversion or a more stable layer aloft tends to partially trap diurnal waves in the BL and consequently extend perturbations well offshore. The wave amplitude decays with offshore distance due to BL friction and leakage of energy into the free atmosphere. The dependence of trapped waves on the inversion height and strength, atmosphere stratification, latitude, BL friction, and background winds is investigated. Diurnal waves generated by a deep heating source extending well above the BL are characterized by longer wavelengths, faster propagation, and substantially longer e-folding decay distances than waves induced by a BL source. For the latter, BL friction has little impact on the e-folding decay distance, as waves are mostly located in the free atmosphere rather than in a frictional BL.

Full access
Qingfang Jiang

Abstract

Applicability of the reduced-gravity shallow-water (RGSW) theory to a shallow atmospheric layer capped by an inversion underneath a deep stratified atmosphere over a two-dimensional ridge has been investigated using linear analysis and nonlinear numerical simulations. Two key nondimensional parameters are identified: namely, and , where g′ is the reduced-gravity acceleration; H 0 is the RGSW layer depth; and N and U are the buoyancy frequency and wind speed, respectively, in the layer above the inversion. If J and γ are around unity or larger, the response of the RGSW flow over the ridge can be significantly modified by pressure perturbations aloft. Any jumplike perturbations in the RGSW layer rapidly decay while propagating away from the ridge as the perturbation energy radiates into the upper layer. With J and γ much less than unity, RGSW theory is more adequate for describing RGSW flows.

In addition, inversion splitting occurs downstream of a jump when , where N i is the buoyancy frequency in the inversion and h m stands for the ridge height. A less stratified upper layer with slower winds in general has less influence on the RGSW flow below and favors the application of the RGSW theory. For a thick inversion (d), the equivalent RGSW flow depth is approximately given by H + d/2, where H is the depth of the neutral layer below the inversion.

Full access
Qingfang Jiang

Abstract

The impact of Kelvin–Helmholtz billows (KHBs) in an elevated shear layer (ESL) on the underlying atmospheric boundary layer (BL) is examined utilizing a group of large-eddy simulations. In these simulations, KHBs develop in the ESL and experience exponential growth, saturation, and exponential decay stages. In response, strong wavy motion occurs in the BL, inducing rotor circulations near the surface when the BL is stable. During the saturation stage, secondary instability develops in the ESL and the wavy BL almost simultaneously, followed by the breakdown of the quasi-two-dimensional KH billows and BL waves into three-dimensional turbulence. Consequently, during and after a KH event, the underlying BL becomes more turbulent with its depth increased and stratification weakened substantially, suggestive of significant lasting impact of elevated KH billows on the atmospheric BL. The eventual impact of KHBs on the BL is found to be sensitive to both the ESL and BL characteristics.

Restricted access
Qingfang Jiang and Shouping Wang

Abstract

The impact of gravity waves on marine stratocumulus is investigated using a large-eddy simulation model initialized with sounding profiles composited from the Variability of American Monsoon Systems (VAMOS) Ocean–Cloud–Atmosphere–Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-Rex) aircraft measurements and forced by convergence or divergence that mimics mesoscale diurnal, semidiurnal, and quarter-diurnal waves. These simulations suggest that wave-induced vertical motion can dramatically modify the cloud albedo and morphology through nonlinear cloud–aerosol–precipitation–circulation–turbulence feedback.

In general, wave-induced ascent tends to increase the liquid water path (LWP) and the cloud albedo. With a proper aerosol number concentration, the increase in the LWP leads to enhanced precipitation, which triggers or strengthens mesoscale circulations in the boundary layer and accelerates cloud cellularization. Precipitation also tends to create a decoupling structure by weakening the turbulence in the subcloud layer. Wave-induced descent decreases the cloud albedo by dissipating clouds and forcing a transition from overcast to scattered clouds or from closed to open cells. The overall effect of gravity waves on the cloud variability and morphology depends on the cloud property, aerosol concentration, and wave characteristics. In several simulations, a transition from closed to open cells occurs under the influence of gravity waves, implying that some of the pockets of clouds (POCs) observed over open oceans may be related to gravity wave activities.

Full access
Qingfang Jiang and Shouping Wang

Abstract

The impact of aerosol replenishment in a stratocumulus-topped boundary layer (STBL) on cloud morphology and albedo is examined using a large-eddy simulation (LES) model in conjunction with a prey–predator-type dynamical model following Koren and Feingold. In both the LES and the prey–predator models, the aerosol replenishment is represented as a relaxation term toward an ambient aerosol concentration with a time scale . The LESs suggest the existence of three distinct cloud regimes corresponding to different aerosol relaxation times. Specifically, for a small , the simulations are characterized by a large aerosol concentration, weak precipitation, relatively thick cloud depth, and closed cells. For a moderate , the simulated clouds exhibit open cellular patterns, in accordance with low aerosol concentration and moderate precipitation that oscillates in time. For a large , the aerosol may be depleted by intense drizzling and accordingly the cloud disappears. The critical aerosol relaxation times that separate these regimes vary with the ambient aerosol number concentration and cloud depth. Solutions from the low-order dynamical model with parameters relevant to the LESs are in general consistent with the LES results and provide further insight into the interplay among clouds, aerosol, and precipitation.

Full access
Qingfang Jiang and James D. Doyle

Abstract

Two topographically generated cirrus plume events have been examined through satellite observations and real-data simulations. On 30 October 2002, an approximately 70-km-wide cirrus plume, revealed by a high-resolution Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image and a series of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) images, originated from the Sierra Nevada ridge and extended northeastward for more than 400 km. On 5 December 2000, an approximately 400-km-wide cloud plume originated from the Southern Rocky Mountain massif and extended eastward for more than 500 km, the development of which was captured by a series of GOES images. The real-data simulations of the two cirrus plume events successfully capture the presence of these plumes and show reasonable agreement with the MODIS and GOES images in terms of the timing, location, orientation, length, and altitude of these cloud plumes. The synoptic and mesoscale aspects of the plume events, and the dynamics and microphysics relevant to the plume formation, have been discussed. Two common ingredients relevant to the cirrus plume formation have been identified, namely, a relatively deep moist layer aloft with high relative humidity and low temperature (≤−40°C near the cloud top), and strong updrafts over high terrain and slow descent downstream in the upper troposphere associated with terrain-induced inertia–gravity waves. The rapid increase of the relative humidity associated with strong updrafts creates a high number concentration of small ice crystals through homogeneous nucleation. The overpopulated ice crystals decrease the relative humidity, which, in return, inhibits small crystals from growing into large crystals. The small crystals with slow terminal velocities (<0.2 m s−1) can be advected hundreds of kilometers before falling out of the moist layer.

Full access
Qingfang Jiang and James D. Doyle

Abstract

The impact of diurnal forcing on a downslope wind event that occurred in Owens Valley in California during the Sierra Rotors Project (SRP) in the spring of 2004 has been examined based on observational analysis and diagnosis of numerical simulations. The observations indicate that while the upstream flow was characterized by persistent westerlies at and above the mountaintop level the cross-valley winds in Owens Valley exhibited strong diurnal variation. The numerical simulations using the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) capture many of the observed salient features and indicate that the in-valley flow evolved among three states during a diurnal cycle. Before sunrise, moderate downslope winds were confined to the western slope of Owens Valley (shallow penetration state). Surface heating after sunrise weakened the downslope winds and mountain waves and eventually led to the decoupling of the well-mixed valley air from the westerlies aloft around local noon (decoupled state). The westerlies plunged into the valley in the afternoon and propagated across the valley floor (in-valley westerly state). After sunset, the westerlies within the valley retreated toward the western slope, where the downslope winds persisted throughout the night.

Full access