Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2010

Abstract

The daytime evolution of the thermally forced boundary layer (BL) circulation over an isolated mountain, about 30 km in diameter and 2 km high, is examined by means of numerical simulations validated with data collected in the Cumulus Photogrammetric, In Situ, and Doppler Observations (CuPIDO) field campaign. Two cases are presented, one remains cloud free in the simulations, and the second produces orographic convection just deep enough to yield a trace of precipitation. The Weather Research and Forecasting version 3 simulations, at a resolution of 1 km, compare well with CuPIDO observations. The simulations reveal a solenoidal circulationmostly containedwithin the convectiveBL, but this circulation and especially its upper-level return flow branch are not immediately apparent since they are overwhelmed by BL thermals. A warm anomaly forms over the high terrain during the day, but it is rather shallow and does not extend over the depth of the convective BL, which bulges over the mountain. Low-level mountain-scale convergence (MSC), driven by an anabatic pressure gradient, deepens during the day. Even relatively shallow and relatively small cumulus convection can temporarily overwhelm surface MSC by cloud shading and convective downdraft dynamics. In the evening drainage flow develops near the surface before the anabatic forcing ceases, and anabatic flow is still present in the residual mixed layer, decoupled from the surface. The interaction of the boundary layer circulation with deep orographic convection is examined in Part II of this study. © 2010 American Meteorological Society.

DOI

10.1175/2009MWR3098.1

Comments

© Copyright 2010 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyrights@ametsoc.org.

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