On the Problem of Violent Valley Winds

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  • 1 Etablissement d'Ẽtudes et Recherches Météorologiques, 92106 Boulogne-Billancourt CEDEX, France
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Abstract

observational results of a one-month mesoscale experiment in a valley are used to emphasize the prominent part played by an inversion layer in air flow dynamics. A model based on the analogy between shallow water flow and air flow beneath an inversion is applied. Using the actual topography of the valley, theoretical arguments for the appearance of violent winds are presented and the model results are compared with the in-situ measurements. The qualitatively good agreement for the, wind speed and the height of the inversion layer allows for further confidence in the model predictions. For example, the existence of a sharp transition zone, or jump, with a strong horizontal gradient of wind speed and temperature present in the model is consistent with aircraft measurements.

Abstract

observational results of a one-month mesoscale experiment in a valley are used to emphasize the prominent part played by an inversion layer in air flow dynamics. A model based on the analogy between shallow water flow and air flow beneath an inversion is applied. Using the actual topography of the valley, theoretical arguments for the appearance of violent winds are presented and the model results are compared with the in-situ measurements. The qualitatively good agreement for the, wind speed and the height of the inversion layer allows for further confidence in the model predictions. For example, the existence of a sharp transition zone, or jump, with a strong horizontal gradient of wind speed and temperature present in the model is consistent with aircraft measurements.

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