Dynamical Simulation of Cloudy Boundary Layer Flow during Cold Air Outbreaks.
A two-dimensional primitive equation planetary boundary layer model has been constructed and applied to simulate downwind evolution of coupled dynamical, thermodynamical and cloud properties in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) developed during cold air outbreaks over warm ocean. A layered parametric approach is adopted to model the inversion -capped convective boundary layer filled with shallow cumuli, or topped by stratocumulus or cloud free air. Turbulent and convective cloud fluxes are determined from modifications and generalizations of recent published parameterization schemes. A one-dimensional version of the model is first applied to a local simulation of trade wind flow. Vertical distributions of momentum flux and wind in the cumulus -filled baroclinic PBL are realistically simulated compared to observations, confirming the validity of the momentum flux parameterization scheme assembled in this research. A steady-state linear analysis for a cloud-free mixed layer flowing from land over a warm ocean clarifies the basic dynamical and thermodynamical adjustments to differential friction and heating. Downwind warming and deepening of PBL produces counteracting pressure gradient forces, while heating-induced subsidence occurs only in places where boundary layer baroclinity is strong. Comparative numerical experiments for moderate intensity air-sea interaction illustrate the importance of nonprecipitating cumulus convection and large scale environmental conditions. Such factors as baroclinity, static stability, moisture content, upwind inversion strength and height exert strong controls on the downwind evolution of PBL and clouds. Boundary layer flow is influenced by the basic geostrophic wind distribution and the PBL depth is also sensitive to large scale vertical velocity. The response of an advective boundary layer to stronger wind is different from that of a horizontally homogeneous boundary layer. In a simulation of an intense air mass transformation situation observed over The East China Sea, downwind variation of dynamical and thermodynamical boundary layer properties and cloud distribution are well reproduced. The steep sea surface temperature gradient produces strong boundary layer baroclinity and a strong divergent boundary layer flow. The simulated large cross-isobar angle in association with intense cold air advection and vigorous momentum mixing is in favorable agreement with both observation and theory.
- Pub Date:
- Physics: Atmospheric Science