Nighttime Valley Waves

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  • a Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
  • | b Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois
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Abstract

This paper describes a regular oscillation observed in nighttime drainage airflow in a valley under relatively light upper-level wind conditions. The period of these oscillations is about 20 minutes with at least one harmonic at about 10 minutes. A strong coherence between tributary flow and main valley fluctuations was observed, with the phase of the tributary flow leading the valley oscillation; this indicates the importance of tributaries as major contributors to the dynamics of cold air flow in valleys.

Abstract

This paper describes a regular oscillation observed in nighttime drainage airflow in a valley under relatively light upper-level wind conditions. The period of these oscillations is about 20 minutes with at least one harmonic at about 10 minutes. A strong coherence between tributary flow and main valley fluctuations was observed, with the phase of the tributary flow leading the valley oscillation; this indicates the importance of tributaries as major contributors to the dynamics of cold air flow in valleys.

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