Observations of Fluxes and Inland Breezes over a Heterogeneous Surface

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  • Repeated aircraft runs at about 33 m over heterogeneous terrain are analyzed to study the spatial variability of the mesoscale flow and turbulent fluxes. An irrigated area, about 12 km across, generates a relatively cool moist inland breeze. As this air flows out over the warmer, drier surrounding land surface, an internal boundary layer develops within the inland breeze, which then terminates at a well-defined inland breeze front located about 1½ km downstream from the change of surface conditions. This front is defined by horizontal convergence, rising motion, and sharp spatial change of moisture, carbon dioxide, and ozone. Both a scale analysis and the observations suggest that the overall vertical motion associated with the inland breeze is weak. However, the observations indicate that this vertical motion and attendant vertical transport are important in the immediate vicinity of the front, and the inland breeze does lead to significant modification of the turbulent flux. In the inland breeze downstream from the surface wetness discontinuity, strong horizontal advection of moisture is associated with a rapid increase of the turbulent moisture flux with height. This large moisture flux appears to be partly due to mixing between the thin moist inland breeze and overlying drier air. As a consequence of the strong vertical divergence of the flux in the transition regions, the fluxes measured even as low as a few tens of meters are not representative of the surface fluxes. The spatial variability of the fluxes is also interpreted within the footprint format. Attempts are made to reconcile predictions by footprint and internal boundary-layer approaches.
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  • 51
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  • 17
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  • This material is based upon work supported by Grant DAA H04-93-G-0019 from the Army Research Office and Grant ATM-8912736 from the Physical Meteorology Program of the National Science Foundation.



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