Operating ranges of mesoscale numerical models and meteorological wind tunnels for the simulation of sea and land breezes

R. Avissar, M. D. Moran, G. Wu, R. N. Meroney, R. A. Pielke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The operating ranges of mesoscale numerical models and meteorological wind tunnels for sea- and land-breeze simulations are defined in this paper based on a review of the theoretical and practical limitations of these two approaches. Numerical-model operating ranges are limited by the choice of governing equations, the numerical methods used to solve the governing equations, the scales of the surface or atmospheric forcing and the atmospheric response, the specified grid resolution and domain size, and the available computer resources. Wind-tunnel operating ranges are limited by the dimensions of the simulated circulations and of the tunnel itself, the tunnel flow speed and turbulence characteristics, the temperature gradients within the tunnel, the lack of Coriolis force and moist processes, and the characteristics of the measurement instrumentation. The operating ranges of these two simulation methods are shown to overlap. In this common range, results of simulations from both approaches can be compared so as to strengthen the validity of the results and to help in the development and improvement of parameterizations of physical processes in numerical models. In addition, the coupling of meteorological wind tunnels and mesoscale numerical models offers a larger range of operating conditions than can be achieved by either approach alone. Together, they can be used in a hybrid form to predict atmospheric conditions at the scale of a few meters for complex terrain (e.g., buildings, hills, etc.) within larger mesoscale atmospheric flow regimes. In the case of sea and land breezes, the sea-land transition zone and coastal internal boundary layer can be studied using both approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-275
Number of pages49
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Volume50
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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