11.3 Large-eddy simulation of sea and lake breezes and sensitivity to forcing mechanisms

Wednesday, 19 August 2009: 8:30 AM
The Canyons (Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel)
Erik T. Crosman, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and J. D. Horel

Sea and lake breeze circulations are among the most thoroughly studied mesoscale systems. However, most of the landmark numerical sensitivity studies concerning sea and lake breezes were conducted prior to 1995 using two-dimensional, coarse resolution hydrostatic models. This study systematically revisits the impact of various forcing mechanisms (surface heat flux, lake width, background flow, ambient stability, surface friction, and Coriolis forces) on the lake breeze using the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model run as a nonhydrostatic three dimensional large eddy simulation at very high horizontal resolution (~100 m), where most boundary layer turbulence is explicitly resolved. Utah's Great Salt Lake is ideally suited for the validation of these mesoscale circulations in arid environments. An array of surface weather and air quality stations,radiosonde profiles, and land surface temperature data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer will be used to initialize and validate model simulations. Initial modeling results will be presented and an undergraduate student field project funded by the National Science Foundation will be discussed.
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