Low-Level Wind Maxima and Structure of the Stably Stratified Boundary Layer in the Coastal Zone Public Deposited

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  • A Rutan Aircraft Factory Long-EZ aircraft flew numerous low-level slant soundings on two summer days in 2001 off the northeastern coast of the United States. The soundings are analyzed here to study the nonstationary vertical structure of the wind, temperature, and turbulence. An error analysis indicates that fluxes computed from the aircraft slant soundings are unreliable. The first day is characterized by a weakly stable boundary layer in onshore flow capped by an inversion. A low-level wind maximum formed at about 100 m above the sea surface. The second day is characterized by stronger stability due to advection of warm air from the upwind land surface. On this more stable day, the wind maxima are very sharp and the speed and height of the wind maxima increase with distance from the coast. Although trends in the vertical structure are weak, variations between subsequent soundings are large on time scales of tens of minutes or less. The vertical structure of the wind and turbulence is considerably more nonstationary than the temperature structure, although the existence of the wind maximum is persistent. Causes of the wind maxima and their variability are examined but are not completely resolved.
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  • Mahrt, L., Vickers, D., & Andreas, E. L. (2014). Low-Level Wind Maxima and Structure of the Stably Stratified Boundary Layer in the Coastal Zone. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 53(2), 363-376. doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0170.1
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  • 53
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  • 2
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  • This work was supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research through Award N00014-11-1-0073. Mahrt was additionally supported by ONR Grant N00014-11-WX20724 and DOE Grant DE-EE0005373.
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