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Turbulence in the nocturnal boundary layer with light and variable winds

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dc.creator Mahrt, L.
dc.creator Richardson, Scott
dc.creator Seaman, Nelson
dc.creator Stauffer, David
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-22T00:05:38Z
dc.date.available 2015-07-01T08:00:10Z
dc.date.issued 2012-07
dc.identifier.citation Mahrt L, Richardson S, Seaman N, Stauffer D. 2012. Turbulence in the nocturnal boundary layer with light and variable winds. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 138: 1430–1439. DOI:10.1002/qj.1884 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/35221
dc.description This is the publisher’s final pdf. The article is copyrighted by the Royal Meteorological Society and published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. It can be found at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28ISSN%291477-870X. en_US
dc.description.abstract Turbulence quantities are analyzed from nine months of data collected on the floor of a valley where nocturnal cold pools are frequent. Often the speed of the vector-averaged wind over the night is less than 0.5 m s−1 (near-calm winds) with no preference for wind direction. The quantity of such near-calm data is sufficiently large to allow new types of analyses as well as the opportunity to examine statistics of the previously ignored near-neutral subclass of near-calm winds. •For near-calm weak winds and strong stratification, the turbulence can be difficult to isolate from wave-like motions and more complex small-scale structures. The smallest scale perturbations on time-scales less than 5 s behave most like turbulence. Larger-scale perturbations are characterized by very weak vertical velocity fluctuations and large temperature fluctuations, but lead to systematic downward heat flux after extensive averaging. •For near-calm nocturnal conditions, significant turbulence is mainly generated by short-term (minutes) accelerations of unknown origin. The turbulence between such infrequent mixing events is extremely weak, but not zero. While the turbulence in the events approximately follows similarity theory, the extremely weak turbulence scales neither with stratification nor bulk shear, and its inferred vertical length-scale is small compared to the distance from the ground, even at the 2 m level. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This project received support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency through grant HDTRA1- 10-1-0033 and the National Science Foundation through grant AGS-1115011. Part of the work by Mahrt was performed at Stockholm University funded by the International Meteorological Institute. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Royal Meteorological Society en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Vol. 138 no. 667 en_US
dc.subject nocturnal boundary layer en_US
dc.subject stable boundary layer en_US
dc.subject valley-floor cold pools en_US
dc.subject near-neutral near-calm conditions en_US
dc.title Turbulence in the nocturnal boundary layer with light and variable winds en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.peerreview yes en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1002/qj.1884
dc.description.embargo 2015-07
dc.description.embargopolicy Repository Administrators en

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