Coastal Atmospheric Circulation around an Idealized Cape during Wind-Driven Upwelling Studied from a Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Model Public Deposited

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  • The study analyzes atmospheric circulation around an idealized coastal cape during summertime upwelling-favorable wind conditions simulated by a mesoscale coupled ocean–atmosphere model. The domain resembles an eastern ocean boundary with a single cape protruding into the ocean in the center of a coastline. The model predicts the formation of an orographic wind intensification area on the lee side of the cape, extending a few hundred kilometers downstream and seaward. Imposed initial conditions do not contain a low-level temperature inversion, which nevertheless forms on the lee side of the cape during the simulation, and which is accompanied by high Froude numbers diagnosed in that area, suggesting the presence of the supercritical flow. Formation of such an inversion is likely caused by average easterly winds resulting on the lee side that bring warm air masses originating over land, as well as by air warming during adiabatic descent on the lee side of the topographic obstacle. Mountain leeside dynamics modulated by differential diurnal heating is thus suggested to dominate the wind regime in the studied case. The location of this wind feature and its strong diurnal variations correlate well with the development and evolution of the localized lee side trough over the coastal ocean. The vertical extent of the leeside trough is limited by the subsidence inversion aloft. Diurnal modulations of the ocean sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and surface depth-averaged ocean current on the lee side of the cape are found to strongly correlate with wind stress variations over the same area. Wind-driven coastal upwelling develops during the simulation and extends offshore about 50 km upwind of the cape. It widens twice as much on the lee side of the cape, where the coldest nearshore SSTs are found. The average wind stress–SST coupling in the 100-km coastal zone is strong for the region upwind of the cape, but is notably weaker for the downwind region, estimated from the 10-day-average fields. The study findings demonstrate that orographic and diurnal modulations of the near-surface atmospheric flow on the lee side of the cape notably affect the air–sea coupling on various temporal scales: weaker wind stress–SST coupling results for the long-term averages, while strong correlations are found on the diurnal scale.
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  • Perlin, Natalie, Eric D. Skyllingstad, Roger M. Samelson, 2011: Coastal Atmospheric Circulation around an Idealized Cape during Wind-Driven Upwelling Studied from a Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Model. Monthly Weather Review, 139, 809–829. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010MWR3372.1
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-05-16T17:54:14Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 PerlinNatalieCEOASCoastalAtmosphericCirculation.pdf: 6127763 bytes, checksum: 2c4417b7a65eb98fa0ed68e1899e77b6 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2011-03
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