The Extrapolation of Near-Surface Wind Speeds under Stable Stratification Using an Equilibrium-Based Single-Column Model Approach

Date

2016

Authors

Optis, Michael
Monahan, Adam H.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology

Abstract

Classical approaches to modeling the near-surface (i.e., below 200 m) wind profile are equilibrium based (i.e., no time evolution) and either lack a physical basis or are based on surface-layer physics. In this study, the limits of the equilibrium approach in stable stratification are further tested by applying the method within a more physically comprehensive single-column model (SCM) framework. The SCM considered here is a highly idealized momentum and temperature budget model that uses a range of different parameterizations of turbulent fluxes. A 10-yr observational dataset obtained from the 213-m Cabauw tower in the Netherlands is used to drive the SCM and to assess model performance. Results from this study demonstrate several limitations of this SCM-based equilibrium approach. The existence of two physically meaningful equilibrium solutions for a given value of the surface turbulent temperature flux (used as a lower boundary in the SCM) generally results in either a tendency to underestimate stratification or the breakdown of the model because of runaway cooling and collapsed turbulence. Different representations of the geostrophic wind profile accounting for baroclinic effects caused by the strong land–sea temperature gradient at Cabauw are shown to have only a modest influence on the mean wind profile. The local internal boundary layer (IBL) at Cabauw results in a strong tendency for the SCM to overestimate wind speeds in weakly to moderately stable conditions. In very stable conditions (where the IBL influence was low), the equilibrium approach remained limited because of its inability to account for time-evolving phenomena such as the inertial oscillation and the low-level jet.

Description

Keywords

Boundary layer, Wind, Numerical analysis/modeling, Single column models

Citation

Optis, M. & Monahan, A. (2016). The Extrapolation of Near-Surface Wind Speeds under Stable Stratification Using an Equilibrium-Based Single-Column Model Approach. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 55(4), 923-943. https://doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0075.1