Fair-Weather diurnal wind field evolution in a complex mountainous region

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Sunday, 17 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Jonathan Michael Tippetts, Salt Lake City, UT; and C. D. Whiteman

Handout (76.9 kB)

The U. S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground (DPG) in the Great Salt Lake Desert of west-central Utah is surrounded by mountain ranges. The Stansbury Mountains are east, the Onaqui and Deep Creek Mountains are west, and the Dugway range is south of the Proving Ground. Winds at DPG are affected by the development of local diurnal mountain wind systems from these surrounding mountain ranges, with the strongest and most consistent winds occurring during synoptically undisturbed periods. To determine the influence of these locally driven wind systems at Dugway, we have processed wind data from a network of 26 10-m towers located in and surrounding DPG using data from the 10-yr period from January 1998 to January 2008. The diurnal evolution of winds at each of the towers was determined for a typical summer fair-weather day, and a QuickTime animation was produced to illustrate the evolution of the wind field over the entire DPG region using 15-min time steps. The animation has improved understanding of the typical flows surrounding DPG and given additional insight into processes such as cold-air pooling.