3.4 Using WRF model to study the development of convective boundary layer in the tropical, urbanized, and complex terrain Aburra valley in Colombia

Monday, 20 August 2012: 2:15 PM
Priest Creek C (The Steamboat Grand)
José F. Jiménez, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia; and F. Chen, M. Tewari, M. A. LeMone, and C. A. Palacio

The mixing-layer height is a critical parameter for determining pollutant dispersion processes in the atmospheric boundary layer. The characteristics and behavior of the mixing-layer height depend on several factors such as latitude, altitude, mesoscale circulations, topography, and the urban/rural character of local environments. In fact, the urban areas require special meteorological considerations due to the particularities of the energy balance in the cities, because they substantially modify the near surface and boundary layer temperature, humidity and wind fields. This paper focuses on the application of the WRF model to the study of mixing height in the metropolitan area of Aburra valley (Colombia). This valley is located in a branch of the Andes range, exposed to the major mesoscale influences of Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Amazonian forest. The high-resolution WRF-urban modeling system is applied to the Aburra valley for a selected case (30th June 2008), and evaluated against surface observations. Results are discussed in terms of the abilities of the WRF-urban system to simulate the boundary layer development in complex terrains over a highly urbanized region. Having identified gaps in knowledge and data sources, we recommend further research about the boundary layer structure over the mountainous, tropical and urban area considered in the case-study, and the need of consistent database development.
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