TITLE

Diurnal Variation of Downslope Winds in Owens Valley during the Sierra Rotor Experiment

AUTHOR(S)
Jiang, Qingfang; Doyle, James D.
PUB. DATE
October 2008
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Oct2008, Vol. 136 Issue 10, p3760
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The impact of diurnal forcing on a downslope wind event that occurred in Owens Valley in California during the Sierra Rotors Project (SRP) in the spring of 2004 has been examined based on observational analysis and diagnosis of numerical simulations. The observations indicate that while the upstream flow was characterized by persistent westerlies at and above the mountaintop level the cross-valley winds in Owens Valley exhibited strong diurnal variation. The numerical simulations using the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) capture many of the observed salient features and indicate that the in-valley flow evolved among three states during a diurnal cycle. Before sunrise, moderate downslope winds were confined to the western slope of Owens Valley (shallow penetration state). Surface heating after sunrise weakened the downslope winds and mountain waves and eventually led to the decoupling of the well-mixed valley air from the westerlies aloft around local noon (decoupled state). The westerlies plunged into the valley in the afternoon and propagated across the valley floor (in-valley westerly state). After sunset, the westerlies within the valley retreated toward the western slope, where the downslope winds persisted throughout the night.
ACCESSION #
34783195

 

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