Case Studies of a Convective Plume and a Dust Devil

View More View Less
  • a Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories, Bedford, Mass.
  • | b Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Wasington, Seattle
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

The paper describes the characteristics of a convective plume and a dust devil from measurements made at 5.66 and 22.6 m above a flat uniform site in Kansas. The velocity fluctuations were measured with a continuous-wave, three-component sonic anemometer and the temperature fluctuations with a fine platinum wire thermometer. The data show that the plume is basically a non-rotating system; it is more tilted in the downwind direction than the dust devil, travels at a lower velocity than the mean wind speed at 0.5 m, and requires vertical stretching for its maintenance in the presence of wind shear. The dust devil shows a down-draft in the middle, travels at a higher velocity than the mean wind at 32 m, and derives much of its stability from rotation. Both systems tend to transport momentum upward, against the velocity gradient, which probably accounts for the very low and sometimes negative stresses observed during unstable conditions.

Abstract

The paper describes the characteristics of a convective plume and a dust devil from measurements made at 5.66 and 22.6 m above a flat uniform site in Kansas. The velocity fluctuations were measured with a continuous-wave, three-component sonic anemometer and the temperature fluctuations with a fine platinum wire thermometer. The data show that the plume is basically a non-rotating system; it is more tilted in the downwind direction than the dust devil, travels at a lower velocity than the mean wind speed at 0.5 m, and requires vertical stretching for its maintenance in the presence of wind shear. The dust devil shows a down-draft in the middle, travels at a higher velocity than the mean wind at 32 m, and derives much of its stability from rotation. Both systems tend to transport momentum upward, against the velocity gradient, which probably accounts for the very low and sometimes negative stresses observed during unstable conditions.

Save