TITLE

Pressure Perturbations and Upslope Flow over a Heated, Isolated Mountain

AUTHOR(S)
Geerts, Bart; Miao, Qun; Demko, J. Cory
PUB. DATE
November 2008
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Nov2008, Vol. 136 Issue 11, p4272
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Surface and upper-air data, collected as part of the Cumulus Photogrammetric, In Situ, and Doppler Observations (CuPIDO) experiment during the 2006 monsoon season around the Santa Catalina Mountains in southeast Arizona, are used to study the diurnal variation of the mountain-scale surface convergence and its thermal forcing. The thermal forcing is examined in terms of a horizontal pressure gradient force, which is derived assuming hydrostatic balance. The mountain is ∼30 km in diameter, ∼2 km high, and relatively isolated. The environment is characterized by weak winds, a deep convective boundary layer in the afternoon, and sufficient low-level moisture for orographic cumulus convection on most days. The katabatic, divergent surface flow at night and anabatic, convergent flow during the day are in phase with the diurnal variation of the horizontal pressure gradient force, which points toward the mountain during the day and away from the mountain at night. The daytime pressure deficit over the mountain of 0.5–1.0 mb is hydrostatically consistent with the observed 1–2-K virtual potential temperature excess over the mountain. The interplay between surface convergence and orographic thunderstorms is examined, and the consequence of deep convection (outflow spreading) is more apparent than its possible trigger (enhanced convergence).
ACCESSION #
35204800

 

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