S135 An Atmospheric Hydraulic Jump in the Santa Barbara Channel

Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Timothy W Juliano, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

As part of the Precision Atmospheric Marine Boundary Layer Experiment, the University of Wyoming King Air sampled an atmospheric environment conducive to the formation of a hydraulic jump on 24 May 2012 off the coast of California. Strong, northwesterly flow rounded the Point Arguello/Point Conception complex and encountered the remnants of an eddy circulation in the Santa Barbara Channel. The aircraft flew an east-west vertical sawtooth pattern that captured a sharp thinning of the marine boundary layer and the downstream development of a hydraulic jump. In-situ observations show a dramatic rise in isentropes and a coincident sudden decrease in wind speeds. Imagery from the Wyoming Cloud Lidar clearly depicts the jump feature via co-polarization and depolarization returns. Estimations of MBL depth are used to calculate the upstream Froude number from hydraulic theory.

Simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting model produced results in agreement with the observations. The innermost domain uses a 900 m horizontal grid spacing and encompasses the transition from supercritical to subcritical flow south of Point Conception. Upstream Froude number estimations from the model compare well with observations. A strongly-divergent wind field, consistent with expansion fan dynamics, is present upwind of the hydraulic jump. The model accurately resolves details of the marine boundary layer collapse into the jump. Results from large eddy simulations show a large increase in the turbulent kinetic energy field coincident with the hydraulic jump.

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