The Temperature-Humidity Covariance Budget in the Convective Boundary Layer

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  • 1 Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado/N0AA, Boulder 80309, and Wave Propagation Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colo. 80302
  • | 2 Nationai Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo. 80307
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Abstract

The behavior of the temperature-humidity covariance (θq) budget in the convectively driven boundary layer is determined through analysis of data from AMTEX and (to a lesser extent) Kansas and Minnesota. In the near-neutral surface layer a balance is found between production and molecular destruction; in the mixed layer, transport is also important. We extend the Corrsin theory for inertial subrange scalar spectral behavior to the temperature-humidity cospectrum, and thus relate the molecular destruction rate of θq to its inertial range level. Destruction rates inferred from AMTEX cospectra agree with those found from the imbalance of production and transport terms. The budgets within the surface layer and the mixed layer are parameterized separately with appropriate scales.

Both temperature and humidity fluctuations contribute to the small-scale refractive index variations which affect acoustic and electromagnetic wave propagation in the atmosphere. Our results indicate that their joint contribution CTq to the refractive index structure parameter is directly related to the molecular destruction rate of θq. The results provide a basis for understanding and predicting the behavior of CTq in the convective boundary layer.

Abstract

The behavior of the temperature-humidity covariance (θq) budget in the convectively driven boundary layer is determined through analysis of data from AMTEX and (to a lesser extent) Kansas and Minnesota. In the near-neutral surface layer a balance is found between production and molecular destruction; in the mixed layer, transport is also important. We extend the Corrsin theory for inertial subrange scalar spectral behavior to the temperature-humidity cospectrum, and thus relate the molecular destruction rate of θq to its inertial range level. Destruction rates inferred from AMTEX cospectra agree with those found from the imbalance of production and transport terms. The budgets within the surface layer and the mixed layer are parameterized separately with appropriate scales.

Both temperature and humidity fluctuations contribute to the small-scale refractive index variations which affect acoustic and electromagnetic wave propagation in the atmosphere. Our results indicate that their joint contribution CTq to the refractive index structure parameter is directly related to the molecular destruction rate of θq. The results provide a basis for understanding and predicting the behavior of CTq in the convective boundary layer.

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